Kathleen F. Arcaro

Kathleen F. Arcaro


ABBS Graduate Program Director

she, her, hers


N529 LSL

Mailing address: 

University of Massachusetts
240 Thatcher Road
LSL 1 Room N529
Amherst, MA 01003-9298

Office phone: 


Ph.D.: Rutgers University, 1987
Postdoctoral Training:
University at Albany
Wadsworth Laboratories,
New York State Department of Health

Awards: CNRE Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching


ANIMLSCI 386 - Veterinary Oncology Laboratory

Research Interests

Breast Cancer

Assessing Individual Breast Cancer Risk

The vast majority of breast cancers are sporadic, yet current risk assessment tools do not identify individual risk. A major goal of the research in the Arcaro lab is to develop tools for assessing individual breast cancer risk. To this end, we study breastmilk.  Human milk contains multiple cell types, including epithelial cells from the lining of the ducts and lobules. Because cancer-related DNA methylation may occur decades before disease diagnosis, we are interested in determining the extent to which DNA methylation patterns in the sloughed epithelial cells can inform future breast cancer risk.  Accurately assessing individual risk would provide women the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding preventative treatments.

Lab Personnel

Name Email Phone Office
Baker, Ryan L.
Graduate Student - ABBS
rlbaker [at] umass.edu 413-545-0813 LSL 540D
Browne, Eva
Research Associate
ebrowne [at] vasci.umass.edu 413-545-0813 LSL N261
Taylor, Rachel
Research Technician
rytaylor [at] umass.edu 413-545-0813 LSL 540D


Dunphy, K. A., Black, A. L., Roberts, A. L., Sharma, A., Li, Z., Suresh, S., et al.. (2020). Inter-Individual Variation in Response to Estrogen in Human Breast Explants. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia, 25(1), 51-68. presented at the 2020 03. doi:10.1007/s10911-020-09446-3
Brown, S. B., Hankinson, S. E., Arcaro, K. F., Qian, J., & Reeves, K. W.. (2016). Depression, Antidepressant Use, and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 25(1), 158-64. presented at the 2016 Jan.
Arcaro, K. F., Browne, E. P., Qin, W., Zhang, K., Anderton, D. L., & Sauter, E. R.. (2012). Differential expression of cancer-related proteins in paired breast milk samples from women with breast cancer. Journal of human lactation : official journal of International Lactation Consultant Association, 28(4), 543-6. presented at the 2012 Nov.
Browne, E. P., Punska, E. C., Lenington, S., Otis, C. N., Anderton, D. L., & Arcaro, K. F.. (2011). Increased promoter methylation in exfoliated breast epithelial cells in women with a previous breast biopsy. Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society, 6(12), 1425-35. presented at the 2011 Dec 1.
Zhu, Z. - J., Carboni, R., Quercio, M. J., Yan, B., Miranda, O. R., Anderton, D. L., et al.. (2010). Surface properties dictate uptake, distribution, excretion, and toxicity of nanoparticles in fish. Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), 6(20), 2261-5. presented at the 2010 Oct 18.
Tao, L., Kannan, K., Wong, C. M., Arcaro, K. F., & Butenhoff, J. L.. (2008). Perfluorinated compounds in human milk from Massachusetts, U.S.A. Environmental science & technology, 42(8), 3096-101. presented at the 2008 Apr 15.
Reiner, J. L., Wong, C. M., Arcaro, K. F., & Kannan, K.. (2007). Synthetic musk fragrances in human milk from the United States. Environmental science & technology, 41(11), 3815-20. presented at the 2007 Jun 1.