According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 240,000 new breast cancer cases in women and 2,100 men are diagnosed annually in the United States alone. Though this number has been decreasing over recent years, the disease is still the second-leading cause of death from cancer among women in the United States.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which brings an opportunity to reflect on the disease and its impact on our community. Florida State University faculty are available to speak to the media about the importance of resistance training for breast cancer survivors about research to understand the interactions between cancer and the immune system.
Professor, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
Panton researches how exercise affects body composition, muscular strength and functional outcomes of healthy older adults and chronically diseased populations. Her recent research has focused on the effects of resistance training and functional impact training in female breast cancer survivors.
“Resistance training is important for breast cancer survivors, especially for regaining strength in their upper body. Surgery (mastectomies), treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, drugs), and diminished energy for physical activity can compromise muscle mass, strength and bone density. It is important to get women and men to begin or continue a resistance training program to improve, or at least maintain, their body composition and strength. This can help with physical function and improve quality of life.”
Qing-Xiang “Amy” Sang
Endowed Professor of Cancer Research, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Sang studies how cancer cells escape from our body’s immune surveillance system and how to kill cancer cells that are hiding from our immune attack. Her research has led to a biomarker identification system that provides more accurate screening for human breast cancer patients for precision chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
“My lab’s research team is analyzing the immune microenvironment in immunologically ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ breast tumors as they compare to normal healthy breast tissues. Our research provides evidence for high levels of pro-tumorigenic M2 macrophages in cold tumors and shows that T cell suppression is the main immune evasion mechanism in hot breast tumors. This work could improve the design of clinical trials examining regulatory T cells and M2 macrophages in human breast cancer — research that could help overcome cancer immune evasion mechanisms. The goals are to improve cancer patients’ long-term survival and quality of life, and ultimately cure cancer.”