UPMC Hillman Cancer Center


The mission of the Biobehavioral Oncology Program (BOP) is to reduce the burden of cancer by:

  1. Elucidating the basic mechanisms of reciprocal biological and behavioral interactions between the activities of the central nervous system and peripheral processes involved in cancer development, progression and patient response to cancer treatment, thus providing a scientific basis for the design of new and/or more effective approaches for prevention and treatment of cancer from a person-oriented perspective.
  2. Translating results of biobehavioral research into interventions to reduce cancer risk, and to improve patient responses to cancer, cancer treatment and survivorship.

Corresponding to the specific aims, BOP members largely focus their activities within two research areas:

  1. Biobehavioral analysis of risk behaviors that promote cancer development and progression, with a particular focus on smoking.
  2. Biobehavioral analysis of patients' responses to cancer, cancer treatment and survivorship, with a particular focus on symptom experience.

Both include crosscutting research on psychological stress.