Erin Bowles, MPH

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“At KPWHRI, we have access to extensive data on cancer care. I'm using the data to learn how to improve the experiences of cancer patients and their families.”

Erin Bowles, MPH

Director, Collaborative Science, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Twitter: @ErinJBowles


 

Biography

Epidemiologist Erin Bowles, MPH, is looking at cancer screening and treatment from many different perspectives. Her research brings new insight into cancer risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship, while helping improve cancer care for patients and families.

Erin received an R50 mid-career research award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This award is given to cancer researchers who have demonstrated successes and contributions to cancer research as a non-principal investigator. As a key member of 2 large cancer collaborations — the NCI's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the Health Care Systems Cancer Research Network (CRN) — Erin has developed diverse expertise that includes reading mammograms for breast density and using administrative data to understand patterns of care in cancer treatment.

Her current work includes:

  • Collaborating on a multi-site CRN study led by an investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to understand how obesity affects chemotherapy treatment dosing and risks of recurrence and toxicity in women with breast cancer
  • Helping investigators from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the University of California (UC) San Francisco and UC Davis understand imaging trends in children and pregnant women, and subsequent risks of leukemia associated with ionizing radiation from imaging exams
  • Working with investigators from the NCI, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and Kaiser Permanente Georgia to study how mammographic breast density, radiation treatment, and tissue biomarkers are associated with second cancers in women with previous breast cancer
  • Collaborating on several studies within the BCSC to understand how disparities and social determinants of health affect breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and surveillance
  • Helping investigators from the University of Wisconsin develop a model to predict thyroid cancer diagnosis and evaluate how health care utilization affects thyroid cancer detection and outcomes
  • Working with teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Washington, and Multicare Health System to develop and validate questions about cancer screening for people eligible for breast, colorectal, cervical, and/or lung cancer screening for the National Health Interview Survey.

Erin’s experience working with large observational cohorts and collaborations with numerous study teams over the past 20 years has provided her with expertise in data collection and quality control for many subject areas. She is also a manager of the Collaborative Science Division at KPWHRI, providing leadership, supervision, mentorship, and support to junior faculty.

Research interests and experience

  • Cancer

    Breast cancer; colorectal cancer; multiple myeloma; thyroid cancer; pancreatic cancer; biostatistics; epidemiology; mammography; mammographic breast density; cancer treatment; cancer screening and surveillance; automated data collection; quality of care; medication use; care coordination; administrative data

  • Health Services & Economics

    Access to care; health disparities; health outcomes research; quality of life; measurement of change in health care systems; practice variation

  • Women's Health

    Menopause; hormone replacement therapy (HRT); breast cancer

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Cognitive health and dementia; biostatistics; epidemiology; medication use; cancer

Recent publications

Aiello Bowles EJ, Kroenke CH, Chubak J, Bhimani J, O'Connell K, Brandzel S, Valice E, Doud R, Theis MK, Roh JM, Heon N, Persaud S, Griggs JJ, Bandera EV, Kushi LH, Kantor ED. Evaluation of algorithms using automated health plan data to identify breast cancer recurrences. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 Dec 13. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-23-0782. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Atakpa EC, Buist DSM, Bowles EJA, Cuzick J, Brentnall AR. Development and evaluation of a method to assess breast cancer risk using a longitudinal history of mammographic density: A cohort study. Breast Cancer Res. 2023 Nov 24. doi:10.1186/s13058-023-01744-y. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Kantor ED, O’Connell KO, Ergas IJ, Valice E, Roh JM, Bhimani J, Heon N, Griggs JJ, Lee J, Bowles EJA, Rivera DR, Kolevska T, Bandera EV, Kushi LH. Assessment of breast cancer chemotherapy dose reduction in an integrated healthcare delivery system. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2023 Nov 4. doi: 10.1007/s10549-023-07126-4. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Marlow EC, Ducore JM, Kwan ML, Bowles EJA, Greenlee RT, Pole JD, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Weinmann S, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Medical imaging utilization and associated radiation exposure in children with down syndrome. PLoS One. 2023 Sep 6;18(9):e0289957. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289957. eCollection 2023. PubMed

Lee JM, Ichikawa LE, Wernli KJ, Bowles EAJ, Specht JM, Kerlikowske K, Miglioretti DL, Lowry KP, Tosteson ANA, Stout NK, Houssami N, Onega T, Buist DSM. Impact of surveillance mammography intervals less than one year on performance measures in women with a personal history of breast cancer. J Korean Radiol. 2023 Aug;24(8):729-738. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2022.1038. PubMed

Nyante SJ, Abraham L, Aiello Bowles EJ, Lee CI, Kerlikowske K, Miglioretti DL, Sprague BL, Henderson LM. Racial and ethnic variation in diagnostic mammography performance among women reporting a breast lump. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 Jul 13:EPI-23-0289. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-23-0289. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

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