Cancer

Our team of cancer researchers is involved in research to improve cancer screening, prevention, treatment, survival and costs for Kaiser Permanente members and for the nation. We evaluate a variety of patient reported results and other factors to improve cancer-related care and improve quality of life for cancer survivors. We conduct research to evaluate how health system policies and processes affect care for cancer patients. Additionally, the IHR partners with local and national organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, to develop cohorts of study participants who are interested in taking part in research aimed at preventing cancer or improving cancer-related results.


Cancer Researchers


Featured Projects

Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
This project is a collaboration of 4 Kaiser Permanente (KP) regions (Georgia, Hawaii, Northwest and Colorado) participating in the assembly of a prospective multi-center cohort study that will include up to 200,000 cancer-free adults aged 40-65 years. This cohort will serve an invaluable function in the conduct of research into cancer etiology and prevention. Kaiser Permanente represents the ideal environment to conduct this research as a pioneer in electronic medical record (EMR) technology and our decades of experience conducting research in these defined populations. We will capitalize upon these resources and experience to recruit KP members as part of this complex, intensive, prospective cohort study.
Funder: National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 11/03/2028
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
Despite recommendations that all ovarian cancer cases should receive genetic counseling and testing, rates remain low. This study aims to increase the identification of women and their families who have a higher cancer risk by applying a traceback testing approach to retrospectively identify women who have a prior diagnosis of ovarian cancer. This study will leverage tumor registries to identify prior cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed within the past 10 years at two managed care healthcare systems (Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Kaiser Permanente Colorado). The use of archived pathology samples for germline genetic testing will allow family members of both living and deceased women to receive familial genetic cancer risk information. We will assess: 1) the feasibility of and barriers associated with using tumor registries and archived pathology samples for a traceback testing approach; 2) explore the ethical, privacy, and policy implications associated with genetic testing in deceased patients to inform familial risk; 3) characterize barriers to receiving genetic counseling at the time of diagnosis, including barriers to referral, care access, and patient follow-up.
Funder: National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 02/28/2024
Investigators: Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD and Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
The long-term goal of this multi-site center grant is to identify critical gaps in the lung cancer screening process and to design innovative, multilevel interventions to reduce lung cancer mortality, particularly among underserved populations.
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 03/31/2023
Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
The goal of the PROSPR Coordinating Center (PCC) is to coordinate the research of PROSPR Research Centers to achieve PROSPR's mission of evaluating and improving the cancer screening process (recruitment, screening, diagnosis, and referral for treatment).
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 03/31/2023
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
The aim of this study is to identify miRNA expression changes associated with risk of invasive breast cancer among a cohort of women initially diagnosed with DCIS.
Funder:  National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 07/31/2022
Investigator: Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD
Funder:  Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
Study End Date: 06/30/2022
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
The goal of this project was to investigate the association between breast density and risk of contralateral breast cancer.
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 07/31/2021
Investigator: Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD
Funder: American Cancer Society
Study End Date: 06/30/2021
Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
The objective of this project is to characterize factors relating to the genetic predisposition, clinical presentation, and prognosis of serrated colorectal cancer.
Funder:  National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 04/30/2021
Investigator: Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 02/28/2019
Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
Recent evidence implicates an additional group of polyps, sessile serrated polyps, as potential precursors to a subset of colorectal cancer. This project investigated the clinical significance of sessile serrated polyps, with the long-term goal of identifying new groups that are high-risk for colorectal cancer and improving the effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening.
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 03/31/2018