The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant Applicants for 2020 requested more than $4.1 million. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic and Translational Research and Clinical Research Evaluated 111 applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded Research Grants totaling more than $860,000 to support 24 plastic surgery research proposals.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Breast Microenvironment after Fat Grafting

Principal Investigator
Frederick Wang MD


The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco

Funding Mechanism
Research Fellowship

Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic / Reconstructive)

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women, and most patients with early stage breast cancer will undergo breast conservation therapy for definitive treatment. Contour deformities arising from these procedures can be addressed with fat grafting. Adipocytes, preadipocytes, and adipose-derived stem cells produce factors that promote angiogenesis and prevent apoptosis. These factors may lead to an increased risk of local breast cancer recurrence. The aim of this study is to characterize the breast microenvironment and to determine if there are persistently elevated levels of cytokines and growth factors that are implicated in breast tumorigenesis. In this study, we will recruit 50 women with unilateral breast contour deformities after breast conservation therapy. We will perform fat grafting using the Coleman technique over multiple sessions. With the harvested fat, we will quantify the amount of adipose-derived stem cells and baseline expression of certain cytokines and growth factors. We will perform fine needle aspiration biopsies at the fat graft bed, a non-fat grafted portion of the ipsilateral breast, and a control from the contralateral breast prior to, during, and after fat grafting. We will analyze gene expression of cytokines and growth factors in these biopsies with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Further characterization of biopsies could be performed with larger-scale microarray analysis in the future. Fat grafting remains a controversial technique in the setting of breast cancer. Characterizing the breast microenvironment will demonstrate if the fat graft bed is indeed exposed to higher levels of cytokines and angiogenic and anti-apoptotic growth factors and confer an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. Establishment of the oncologic safety of fat grafting in the setting of breast conservation therapy will allow plastic surgeons to address contour deformities of the breast in a safe and effective manner.

Frederick Wang, MD is a plastic surgery resident at the University of California, San Francisco. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with joint degrees in Electrical Engineering and Biology. He went on to earn his medical degree at the Yale University School of Medicine. He spent one year in medical school as an HHMI-NIH Research Scholar studying inflammatory pathways and cytokines and their role in the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with Dr. Carter Van Waes. He still has a variety of clinical interests at this time, and his project will focus on characterizing the breast microenvironment after fat grafting.