Breast cancer survivors sought for new study that teaches a cancer-fighting food plan

SAN ANTONIO (May 1, 2014) — Breast cancer survivors can now join a new study to learn how certain foods may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

The study, Rx for Better Breast Health, is funded by Susan G. Komen and led by Amelie Ramirez, Dr. P.H., professor and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Breast cancer survivors who participate will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group will get different cancer nutrition tools, possibly including several cooking demonstrations by Chef Iverson Brownell, who creates innovative culinary recipes that taste great and promote health.

People interested in participating can call 210-562-6579 to see if they qualify.

“We want to teach survivors the importance of a dietary plan full of foods with disease-fighting properties,” said Ramirez, who also is associate director for cancer prevention and health disparities and the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Endowed Chair in Cancer Health Care Disparities at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the Health Science Center.

The dietary choices people make can positively or negatively influence inflammation, the process your body uses to protect itself in response to infection or injury, said Michael Wargovich, Ph.D., study co-principal investigator and professor of molecular medicine and holder of the CTRC’s Cancer Center Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology.

Although inflammation is a vital part of the healing process of wounds and infections, if inflammation becomes chronic, it actually causes illness, like cancer.

Some beneficial anti-inflammatory foods are deep marine fish, dark leafy green vegetables, bright multi-colored vegetables, black and green teas, and many spices and herbs.

“Science has taught us that eating these types of foods can benefit health, and we want to see how a diet of these foods can impact breast cancer survivors,” Wargovich said.

To join the study, breast cancer survivors must be ages 18-75 and meet additional criteria.

Participants who complete the study’s three assessments — including surveys, blood work, and other measurements — at the CTRC will be given H-E-B gift cards.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC)
at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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