Within the framework of a variety of collaborative and methodological projects, my overarching research goals are to ensure that scientific research is carried out that utilizes appropriate statistical methodology. Sometimes this is achieved through application of existing statistical methods and in other instances it involves development of new methodology. My research encompasses several collaborative and methodological subject areas: clinical research related to stem cell transplantation, cancer survivorship research and developing new statistical methods for the analysis of medical diagnostic test data.
A major focus of my research is collaborative work with clinical investigators who are based in the Center's Clinical Research Division (CRD). CRD is world renowned for its pioneering work in stem cell transplantation where the procedure was first used approximately 30 years ago. In collaboration with principal investigators from several large program project grants in the CRD, I carry out the design and analysis of studies which aim to further expand and improve our ability to treat patients with a wide range of diseases and prognoses.
For patients undergoing stem cell transplantation, infection is a very serious development and more accurate and earlier detection of disease is an important research topic amongst infectious disease researchers. More globally, diagnostic and screening programs are becoming a large and costly component of our health care system. It is therefore important that research leading to the implementation of new tests be rigorous in determining the accuracy of the tests. A primary goal of my methodological research has been to develop statistical methods that allow researchers to answer relevant clinical questions about diagnostic tests.
Another focus of my research involves methodological and collaborative work on studies of cancer survivorship. In addition to work within the CRD and the Livestrong Foundation on active projects, I also work with investigators around the world on survivorship research on the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Study (CCSS). Since 2004, I have led the Statistical Center for the CCSS, which is a multi-institutional collaboration for which the coordinating center and PI (Dr. Les Robison) reside at St Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Statistical Center resides in the Cancer Prevention program at FHCRC. It is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (U24 CA55727) of the National Institutes of Health and funds from ALSAC, a St. Jude fundraising organization. CCSS has successfully established and followed 14,370 five-year survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer diagnosed between 1970-1986 and a sample of 3,737 sibling controls. The CCSS, derived through 26 participating clinical centers, has collected detailed information on cancer diagnosis, therapy received, and health and quality of life related outcomes. The CCSS provides a dynamic framework and resource in which to investigate current and future questions regarding consequences of therapy, genetic associations, disease processes and causation, interventions, and quality of life among childhood cancer survivors.