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Resources and Core Facilities

Nutrition

The Nutrition Shared Resource (NSR) provides critical support for basic, clinical and population studies evaluating the effects of nutrition on cancer therapies, cancer prevention and cancer population studies. This shared resource expertise is essential for accurate nutrition research studies and adds significant value to trials focused on diminishing the burden of cancer through diet and lifestyle approaches.

To support The University of Kansas Cancer Center members’ research activities in cancer therapeutics, cancer survivorship or prevention and cancer population, the NSR aims to:

  1. Develop, organize and perform quantitative measurement of dietary intake, nutrition status/malnutrition screening or body composition of research participants
  2. Provide standardized meals to research participants for clinical feeding trials
  3. Conduct group nutrition education and cooking classes for study participants
  4. Measure nutrition literacy of research participants and/or provide educational materials tailored to study participants

A unique and differentiated resource offered by the cancer center, services provided by the NSR are available on-site at the KU Clinical Research Center, Westwood and The University of Kansas Hospital locations, as well as via outreach to Masonic Cancer Alliance (MCA) partners and sites across the cancer center’s catchment area. Consultation for research design, methods and nutrition assessment services is available to investigators at other NCI-designated cancer centers.

The NSR also partners with the MCA on dietitian group calls, to share nutritional information and to support dietitians working with patients diagnosed with cancer. Topics include challenging cases, new resources, protocols and procedures, as well as administrative and reimbursement challenges.

The NSR’s range of support, provided by an integrated component of The University of Cancer Center, allows for the inclusion of key endpoints into clinical trials and fosters education and training of oncology nutrition for scientists and healthcare professionals. Additionally, the NSR hosts cooking demonstrations for various audiences to show the value of clinical nutrition research in cancer, and also provides educational talks to cancer survivorship groups highlighting the role of nutrition in overall health and wellness for cancer survivors.

Our goal is to unlock nutrition’s potential to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Whether it's quantifying diet, creating interventions or supporting basic nutrition science, we can help. –Jill Hamilton-Reeves, PhD, RD, CSO

Nutrition Shared Resource co-director

Contact us

Nutrition co-director Debra Sullivan.

Debra Sullivan, PhD, RD, Nutrition co-director

Nutrition co-director Jill Hamilton-Reeves.

Jill Hamilton-Reeves, PhD, RD, CSO, Nutrition co-director

Request our services

Engage the Nutrition Shared Resource on your project. Email dsulliva@kumc.edu your service request.

Research highlights

Diet, microbiome and colon cancer risk

African Americans have higher incidence of colorectal cancer than other racial/ethnic groups; however, it is unclear whether this disparity is primarily due to environmental or biological factors. Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are metabolites produced by bacteria in the colon and are known to be inversely related to colorectal cancer progression. In a translational study, cancer center researchers studied stool microbial metabolites, inflammatory markers and diet in a diverse population. The results showed that African Americans had higher levels of SFCAs in stool and a lower intake of nonstarchy vegetables than other participants. Learn more.

Exploring the effects of nutritional intervention pre- and postsurgery for bladder cancer

A radical cystectomy is performed on bladder cancer patients whose cancer has either spread into the bladder wall or recurred after initial treatment. While effective in treating the cancer, there can be a high cost in terms of long-term complications after surgery. The goal of this research effort was to unlock the potential of nutrition interventions to improve outcomes, survival and quality of life in bladder cancer patients. Results of testing conducted by the NSR showed that those consuming immunonutrition had better T-helper balance, lower peak intereukin-6 levels and stable plasma arginine compared to control. While this research specifically evaluated patients undergoing radical cystectomy, the findings may be applied to other surgical patients in the future and may transform the approach to nutrition preparation and recovery after surgeries. Learn more.

Nutrition literacy

A study led by members of the Nutrition Shared Resource and The University of Kansas Cancer Center researchers evaluated the validity and reliability of the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument (NLit) in more than 400 adults with chronic disease. The results showed the NLit is both valid and reliable. Nutrition literacy was also a significant predictor of diet quality. Learn more.

Learn about the importance of a healthy diet during cancer treatment from Dr. Hamilton-Reeves.

Cite the Cancer Center Support Grant

This resource is funded by The University of Kansas Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) awarded by the National Cancer Institute (P30 CA168524). Publications that have utilized facility resources, services or scientific data generated by the resource should acknowledge the resource and cite the NCI CCSG grant.

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