Dr. Thompson’s interests are in the 'enablers' of carcinogenesis: inflammation and metabolic deregulation. The laboratory works on the molecular and cellular changes that evolve during the development of tumors as targets for primary and secondary prevention. The lab focuses primarily on prevention strategies for colorectal and breast cancer with a developing activity in liver cancers. Her work also includes integrating these targets as biomarkers for use in risk assessment to identify individuals at greatest risk for cancer/cancer recurrence to couple with tailored prevention strategies. In recent years, this has included a strong partnership with radiology/imaging colleagues for development of minimally invasive imaging modalities and their application in chemoprevention trials.
Dr. Thompson is the Program Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and is PI of the Arizona SPORE in Gastrointestinal Cancers. She is also PI of several early phase clinical prevention trials for breast and colon cancer. Dr. Thompson also co-leads a multi-institutional R01 on molecular predictors of metastasis in early stage I/II breast cancer patients with a focus on patients that fail to achieve complete pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This is a discovery effort that includes gaining insights on the role of tumor heterogeneity and molecular alterations in primary tumors that inform on the biology of micrometastatic disease.