Li Tang, MD, PhD Li Tang, MD, PhD

Li Tang


Special Interests:

Molecular Epidemiology Dietary approaches to improve cancer prognosis Retroviruses and breast cancer risk and aggressiveness

About Li Tang


Li Tang, PhD, joined the staff of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a Research Assistant Professor in 2010 in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control within the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. She earned her doctoral degree in Cancer Prevention and Pathology from the University at Buffalo in 2006; and completed postdoctoral training in Epidemiology at Roswell Park.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Associate Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Cancer Prevention and Control


Education and Training:

  • 2006 - PhD - Cancer Pathology and Prevention - State University of New York at Buffalo, New York
  • MD - Tongji Medical University, China


  • R25 postdoctoral training, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Professional Memberships:

  • American Academy for Cancer Research


Research Overview:

Dr. Tang has a multidisciplinary education and training background in medicine, nutrition, cancer biology, and epidemiology. Facilitated by her expertise in both laboratory- and population-based research, she is engaged in the molecular epidemiological study of cancer, with a focus on cancer recurrence and survival. Her research interest is to understand the interactive roles of genetic and dietary factors in cancer prognosis by utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches. The primary focus is on cruciferous vegetables and their key anti-cancer effectors, the phytochemical isothiocyanates. Dr. Tang has successfully conducted studies on anti-cancer mechanisms, metabolism, and bioavailability of isothiocyanates in both in vitro and in vivo models and is seeking to translate her findings into clinical settings, in the hope of developing dietary intervention approaches to improve cancer prognosis.

Dr. Tang is also interested in understanding the genetic basis of cancer characteristics and has a research project focused on racial disparity in insertional polymorphisms of human endogenous retroviruses in relation to breast cancer risk and aggressiveness.


Full Publications list on PubMed
  • Tang L, Zhang Y. Dietary isothiocyanates inhibit the growth of human bladder carcinoma cells. J. Nutr. 2004, 134: 2004-2010.
  • Tang L, Zhang Y. Isothiocyanates in the chemoprevention of bladder cancer. Curr. Drug. Metab. 2004, 5: 193-201.
  • Tang L, Zhang Y. Mitochondria are the primary target in isothiocyanate-induced apoptosis in human bladder cancer cells. Mol.Cancer Ther, 2005, 4: 1250-1259.
  • Tang L, Li G, Song L, Zhang Y. The principle urinary metabolites of dietary isothiocyanates, N-acetylcysteine conjugates, elicit the same anti-proliferative response as their parent compounds in human bladder cancer cells. Anti-Cancer Drugs 2006, 17: 297-305.
  • Tang L, Zhang Y, Jobson HE, Li J, Stephenson KK, Wade KL, Fahey JW. Potent activation of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and arrest in S and M phases of cancer cells by a broccoli sprout extract. Mol. Cancer Ther. 2006, 5: 935-944.
  • Munday R, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Munday CM, Paonessa JD, Tang L, Munday JS, Lister C, Wilson P, Fahey JW, Davis W, Zhang Y. Inhibtion of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by broccoli sprouts. Cancer Res. 2008, 68: 1593-1600.
  • Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Guru K, Moysich KB, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, McCann SE. Consumption of raw, but not cooked, cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with bladder cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2008, 17: 938-944.
  • Ambrosone CB, Barlow WE, Reynolds W, Livingston RB, Yeh I-T, Choi J-Y, Davis W, Rae JM, Tang L, Hutchins LR, Ravdin PM, Martino S, Osborne CK, Abeloff M, Lyss AP, Hayes DF, Albain KS. Myeloperoxidase genotypes and enhanced efficacy of chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer in SWOG 8897. J Clin Oncol. 2009, 27: 4973-4979.
  • Bhattacharya A, Tang L, Li Y, Geng F, Paonessa JD, Chen SC, Wong MK, Zhang Y. Inhibition of Bladder Cancer Development by Allyl Isothiocyanate. Carcinogenesis. 2010, 31: 281-286. Bhattacharya and L Tang contributed equally to this work.
  • Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Guru K, Moysich KB, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, McCann SE. Intake of cruciferous vegetables modifies bladder cancer survival. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2010, 19: 1808-1811.
  • Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Jayaprakash V, Reid ME, McCann SE, Nwogu CE, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, Moysich KB. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with lung cancer risk among smokers: a case-control study. BMC Cancer, 2010, 10: 162.
  • Tang L, Yao S, Till C, Goodman PJ, Tangen CM, Wu Y, Kristal AR, Platz EA, Neuhouser ML, Stanczyk FZ, Reichardt JK, Santella RM, Hsing A, Hoque A, Lippman SM, Thompson IM, Ambrosone CB. Repeat Polymorphisms in estrogen metabolism genes and prostate cancer risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. Carcinogenesis, 2011, 32: 1500-6.
  • Geng F, Tang L, Li Y, Yang L, Choi KS, Kazim AL, Zhang Y. Allyl isothiocyanate arrests cancer cells in mitosis, and mitotic arrest in turn leads to apoptosis via Bcl-2 protein phosphorylation. J Biol Chem, 2011, 286: 32259-67.
  • Yao S, Zirpoli G, Bovbjerg DH, Jandorf L, Hong CC, Zhao H, Sucheston LE, Tang L, Roberts M, Ciupak G, Davis W, Hwang H, Johnson CS, Trump DL, McCann SE, Ademuyiwa F, Pawlish KS, Bandera EV, Ambrosone CB. Variants in the vitamin D pathway, serum levels of vitamin D, and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer among African-American women: a case-control study. Breast Cancer Res. 2012, 14:R58.
  • Tang L, Paonessa, JD, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, McCann SE. Total isothiocyanate yield from cruciferous vegetables commonly consumed in the United States. J Funct Foods. 2013, 5: 1996-2001. PMID: 24443655.
  • Ambrosone CB, Young AC, Sucheston LE, Wang D, Yan L, Liu S, Tang L, Hu Q, Freudenheim JL, Shields PG, Morrison CD, Demissie K, Higgins MJ. Genome-wide methylation patterns provide insight into differences in breast tumor biology between American women of African and European ancestry. Oncotarget. 2014, 5:237-248. PMID: 24368439.
  • Kwan ML, Lo JC, Tang L, Laurent CA, Roh JM, Chandra M, Hahn TE, Hong CC, Campbell L, Hershman DL, Quesenberry CP, Ambrosone CB, Kushi LH, Yao S. Bone health history in breast cancer patients on aromatase inhibitors. PLoS One. 2014, 9:e111477. PMID: 25354083

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