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

Senior Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Twitter: @ErinJBowles


 

Biography

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

Ms. Bowles 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 researcher as a non-principal investigator. As a key member of two large cancer collaborations—the NCI's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the Health Care Systems Cancer Research Network (CRN)—Ms. Bowles 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:

  • 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; and
  • working with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) investigator Diana Buist, PhD, and investigators from the NCI and Kaiser Permanente Colorado to study how mammographic breast density and radiation treatment are associated with second cancers in women with previous breast cancer.

Ms. Bowles' experience working with large cancer cohorts has provided her with expertise in data collection and management for other subject areas. She is a co-investigator on the Adult Changes in Thought study team, and oversees their living laboratory and data sharing for aging research, along with an annual research symposium. Finally, she is a member of the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center and has participated in systematic evidence reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

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

Lee JM, Ichikawa LE, Wernli KJ, Bowles E, Specht JM, Kerlikowske K, Miglioretti DL, Lowry KP, Tosteson ANA, Stout NK, Houssami N, Onega T, Buist DSM. Digital mammography and breast tomosynthesis performance in women with a personal history of breast cancer, 2007-2016. Radiology. 2021 May 18:204581. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021204581. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Feigelson HS, Bodelon C, Powers JD, Curtis RE, Buist DSM, Veiga LHS, Aiello Bowles EJ, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Gierach GL. Body mass index and risk of second cancer among women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Apr 5:djab053. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab053. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Sprague BL, Lowry KP, Miglioretti DL, Alsheik N, Bowles EJA, Tosteson ANA, Rauscher G, Herschorn SD, Lee JM, Trentham-Dietz A, Weaver DL, Stout NK, Kerlikowske K. Changes in mammography utilization by women's characteristics during the first 5 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Mar 29:djab045. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab045. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Marlow EC, Ducore J, Kwan ML, Cheng SY, Bowles EJA, Greenlee RT, Pole JD, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Weinmann S, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Leukemia risk in a cohort of 3.9 million children with and without Down syndrome. J Pediatr. 2021 Mar 5:S0022-3476(21)00212-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.03.001. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Bowles EA, Knerr S, Leppig KA, Ehrlich K, Gao H, Schwartz MD, O’Neill SC. Characteristics associated with participation in Engaged 2 - a web-based breast cancer risk communication and decision support trial. Perm J. 2020 Dec;24:1-4. doi: 10.7812/TPP/19.205. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Knerr S, Li T, Leppig K, Ehrlich K, Farrell D, Gao H, Bowles EA, Graham AL, Luta G, Jayasekera J, Mandelblatt JS, Schwartz MD, O’Neill SC. Effect of personalized breast cancer risk tool on chemoprevention and breast imaging: ENGAGED-2 trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jan 14;5(1):pkaa114. doi: 10.1093/jncics/pkaa114. eCollection 2021 Feb. PubMed

 

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cancer research

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Breast Cancer Surveillance

Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry

Kaiser Permanente Washington has been part of the national Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium since 1994. Learn about the Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry here.

KPWHRI In the Media

CT scan use in pregnancy rose in U.S. and Canada over two decades

Pregnant women exposed to more risky CT scans

HealthDay, Jul 24, 2019