Epidemiology Program

Research in the Epidemiology Program is focused on reducing cancer incidence, progression, and sequalae through the identification of risk factors and the translation of discoveries into preventive strategies. Through population-, laboratory-, and clinic-based research, our faculty aim to uncover knowledge that can inform and improve cancer risk prediction, prevention, prognostication, treatment assignment, surveillance, and overall health.

Our studies ask important public health and clinical questions about environmental, lifestyle, medical, and/or genetic factors that contribute to the incidence, recurrence, and mortality rates for different cancers. Our researchers investigate which genes are potentially modifiable and which ones protect against the development of cancer.

And because the public at-large serves as the source for much of our research, we’re constantly evaluating how risk factors and prognostic profiles vary across populations. We test interventions and lifestyle changes to see which improve outcomes in survivors. We also study cancer risk prediction, screening, and prognostication given the molecular heterogeneity in various types of cancer within different populations.

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Faculty and Labs

Our faculty have a wide range of expertise, with many holding joint appointments or university affiliations.

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See the latest news about Epidemiology scientists, research, grants and discoveries.  

Epidemiology Groups and Studies

Our work is primarily done through research groups or individual projects. We collaborate with researchers across the Hutch to share knowledge and methodologies, creating a more efficient path to better care and a cure.

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APPEAL: Exercise intervention in colorectal polyp patients

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists are investigating the efficacy of a moderate exercise program on colon cancer and how exercise may lower risk in humans.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Anne McTiernan, amctiern@fredhutch.org

Acute Effects of Exercise on Breast Cancer Biomarkers (ACE) Study

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

The Acute Effects of Exercise on Breast Cancer Biomarkers (ACE Study) is enrolling women to test the effect of moderate intensity exercise on cancer risk factors such as biomarkers in healthy women. Knowing if exercise significantly alters these biomarkers, could help support guidelines for daily exercise for breast cancer prevention and could indicate that exercise even without weight loss is beneficial.

Contact: Jude Warner, acestudy@fredhutch.org

Advancing our Understanding of the Etiologies and Mutational Landscapes of Basal-like, Luminal A, and Luminal B Breast Cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Addressing research gaps in the molecular subtypes of breast cancer, researchers are taking a multidisciplinary approach to study the epidemiology and mutational landscapes of basal-like, luminal A, and luminal B tumors.

Funding Agency: DOD

Contact: Sarah Taylor, sataylor@fredhutch.org

Bacterial Correlates of Colorectal Cancer Subtypes and Survival

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists identify differences in the gut bacterial community in patients with etiologically-distinct subgroups of colorectal cancer, and how those differences relate to survival.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Amanda Phipps, aphipps@fredhutch.org

Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI)

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

The Breast Health Global Initiative is striving to improve breast health outcomes and access to breast cancer screening, detection and treatment for women in low- and middle-income countries.

Contact: Marisa Hartman, 206.667.3538

Breast, Colorectal and Ovary Cancer Clinical Validation Center

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

After identifying early detection biomarkers for each of these cancers, scientists have organized phase 2 and phase 3 validation studies for clearly defined clinical applications.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Chris Li, cili@fredhutch.org

Cancer Epidemiology Research Cooperative (CERC)

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

The Cancer Epidemiology Research Cooperative (CERC) conducts research to improve knowledge about the causes of cancer and its impact on the lives of those affected, in order to reduce cancer occurrence and suffering and to improve survival.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Care in the Tyrosine Kinase Era

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Using the Optum Labs/United Healthcare database, investigators review healthcare use patterns of chronic myelogenous leukemia patients treated in the tyrosine kinase inhibitor era.

Funding Agency: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Contact: Nancy Blythe, nblythe@fredhutch.org

DOVE: A case-control study of ovarian cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Using two ovarian cancer case-control studies, scientists are trying to determine why some women develop ovarian tumors and others do not.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Holly Harris, hharris@fredhutch.org

Dexrazoxane and Prevention of Anthracycline-Related Cardiomyopathy in Childhood Cancer Survivors

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists are determining the efficacy of dexrazoxane (DRZ) in reducing anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy among participants in DRZ phase 3 therapeutic trials.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Nancy Blythe, nblythe@fredhitch.org

Echocardiographic Change in Cancer Survivors at Risk for Cardiomyopathy

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists are comparing the echocardiographic changes in left ventricular function and geometry for survivors of childhood cancer who experienced cardiomyopathy to those of survivors who did not.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Nancy Blythe, nblythe@fredhutch.org

Effect of Weight Loss and Exercise on Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Investigators explore microRNAs and their correlation to breast cancer biomarkers, how weight loss affects their relationship to cancer and obesity, and how the genes are expressed in fat tissue.

Funding Agency: Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Contact: Anne McTiernan, amctiern@fredhutch.org

Epidemiology of HPV-related SCC in Transplant Patients

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Using the same baseline cohort, scientists investigate the role of HPV in renal and cardiac organ transplant recipients in two complementary population-based studies.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Margaret Madeleine, mmadelei@fredhutch.org

Epidemiology of the Four Most Frequent Cancers Following Breast Cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Researchers are studying the epidemiologic, clinical and molecular determinants of the four most common cancers diagnosed after an occurrence of invasive breast cancer.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Cecilia O'Brien, cobrien@fredhutch.org

Exercise Effects in Men & Women on Colon DNA Methylation

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

This project will investigate the effects of physical activity on colon DNA methylation in genes related to colon cancer. Excessive DNA methylation is thought to be a risk factor for colon cancer, and no previous study has tested the effect of exercise on DNA methylation in the colon. The project includes 202 initially sedentary men and women who have already completed the trial from which colon samples will be used. In addition, we received supplemental funding for this project will investigate whether vitamin D supplementation modifies the effect of physical activity on risk factors for colorectal cancer including gene expression and activity, proliferation, and cell death. We will investigate these effects in colorectal tissue samples from initially sedentary men and women who have completed a 12-month exercise trial.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Anne McTiernan, amctiern@fredhutch.org

Exploring Invasive Placentation as a Marker of Cancer Risk in Women and Offspring

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Researchers examine growth of the placenta into the uterine wall as a risk factor for cancer in women and their children.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Beth Mueller, bmueller@fredhutch.org

FFPE: Validation of a survival gene signature in HPV-negative oral cavity cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists are developing a tumor-based test to predict the survivability of certain oral cancer patients, helping them determine appropriate treatment choices.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Chu Chen, cchen@fredhutch.org

Improving Assessment and Treatment of Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Childhood Cancer Survivors

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Investigators are determining whether a survivorship care plan and remote counseling sessions can improve control of potentially modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among high-risk participants in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Sarah Taylor, sataylor@fredhutch.org

Late Morbidity and Mortality Among Survivors of Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Researchers are conducting a comprehensive study on the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in survivors of hematopoietic cell transplantation, including the influence of genetics, treatment and lifestyle.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Eric Chow, ericchow@u.washington.edu

Lifestyle Factors and Survival Outcomes for Colorectal Cancer Molecular Subtypes

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists explore the impact of lifestyle on colorectal cancer survival, including differences based on the molecular subtypes of tumors.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Amanda Phipps, aphipps@fredhutch.org

Mammographic Density and Risk of Contralateral Breast Cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Researchers are determining whether mammographic density can be used as a risk marker for contralateral breast cancer.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Cecilia O'Brien, cobrien@fredhutch.org

Metabolic Strategies for Discovery and Verification of Novel Biomarkers of Colorectal Cancer Recurrence

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Through a well-defined cohort of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients, scientists are identifying blood-based biomarkers that can accurately predict disease recurrence.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Kathy Vickers, kvickers@fredhutch.org

Molecular Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Investigators are testing whether the development of endometrial cancer is related to variations in genes and how they respond to various aspects of estrogen exposure.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Chu Chen, cchen@fredhutch.org

Molecular Epidemiology of Lung Cancer

Public Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Scientists are analyzing the relationship between a body’s ability to repair of smoking-induced DNA damage and the occurrences of lung cancer.

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Contact: Chu Chen, cchen@fredhutch.org

Kathi Malone

Program Head

Kara McBroom

Program Operations Director

Jenny Connor

Research Administrator

Liz Maldonado

Research Administrator

Nicholas Porter

Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Epidemiology Program
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N.
Mail Stop M4-B874
PO Box 19024
Seattle, WA 98109-1024