The research conducted by Samuel O. Antwi, Ph.D., is focused on the molecular epidemiology of pancreatic and liver cancer, including the most common form of primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). Dr. Antwi's research seeks to understand how individuals' genetic or epigenetic variations act independently or in concert with lifestyle factors to influence risk of pancreatic cancer and liver cancer development.
Dr. Antwi analyzes data from structured research questionnaires and existing biospecimens to better understand the genetic, epigenetic and nongenetic origins of pancreatic and liver cancer. The biospecimens used are provided by patients with cancer and by those without cancer to create genetic sequencing and molecular assays to identify novel factors associated with the development of pancreatic or liver cancer. A keen focus of Dr. Antwi's research is to analyze data in a biologically meaningful way toward practical actions that will benefit patients and populations.
- Genetic and epigenetic factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma development. Dr. Antwi's research involves investigating the roles of inherited genetic variability, acquired epigenetic modification to DNA, and small molecules produced through the one-carbon metabolism pathway in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Findings from this research are expected to improve strategies for risk assessment and stratification as well as early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Genetic, molecular and nongenetic risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Antwi uses candidate gene and pathway-based approaches to study the roles of genetic variants in pancreatic cancer development. He also studies whether molecular factors, such as telomeres, the telomerase enzyme and telomere maintenance genes, act independently or in concert to influence pancreatic cancer risk. Part of his research is focused on investigating interactions between inherited genetic variants and lifestyle factors (including obesity, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption) and their effects on risk of pancreatic cancer development.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Antwi's research is to provide sound molecular epidemiologic evidence to support the translation of findings from his research to cancer prevention, quantitative cancer risk assessment and early detection of cancer before it progresses to incurable disease.
- Academic editor, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020-present
- Academic editor, Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, 2020-present
- Founding member, Africa Hepatopancreatobiliary Cancer Consortium, 2020-present
- Member, Cohort Consortium Associate Member Council, National Cancer Institute, 2019-present
- Recipient, Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2013 and 2015
- Reviewer, Hepatology; Cancer Research; Journal of Clinical Oncology; Carcinogenesis; Molecular Carcinogenesis; Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention; American Journal of Epidemiology; International Journal of Epidemiology; JNCI Cancer Spectrum; and many others