Women’s Health Initiative Study Wins Cancer Research Award

Published May 25, 2016

“The study has helped to inform women about factors that increase risks for cancer and identify factors that can help prevent cancer in older women.”
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, Dean
School of Public Health and Health Professions

A federally funded women’s health study with ties to the University at Buffalo has been recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) received the AACR’s 10th annual Team Science Award at the association’s annual meeting held recently in New Orleans. WHI received the AACR recognition for “its collective efforts that have broadened our understanding of the effects of hormone therapy and nutrition on cancer.”

Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende, WHI principal investigator at the University at Buffalo and dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, says she was honored to receive this important award.

“The Women’s Health Initiative has produced hundreds of scientific articles on cancer,” she says.

“The study has helped to inform women about factors that increase risks for cancer and identify factors that can help prevent cancer in older women. This award recognizes the work of many individuals, including the women who participated in this landmark study.”

Launched in 1991, the main WHI study was funded through 2005 and initially consisted of a set of clinical trials and an observational study, which combined included more than 161,000 generally healthy postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79.

A series of extension studies every five years since 2005 has allowed researchers to continue following the participants.

UB is one of the original 16 “vanguard clinical centers” in the initiative and also serves as the WHI Northeast Regional Center, managing data collection and scientific coordination among nine WHI-affiliated institutions in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

In fall 2015, UB received another five-year extension and $6.2 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health for its involvement with the WHI.

The AACR Team Science Award honors interdisciplinary groups of researchers for “innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or likely will advance our fundamental knowledge of cancer or a team that has applied existing knowledge to advance the detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of cancer.”