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

Cook AJ, Elmore JG, Miglioretti DL, Sickles EA, Bowles EJ, Cutter GR, Carney PA. Decreased accuracy in interpretation of community-based screening mammography for women with multiple clinical risk factors.  J Clin Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;63(4):441-51. Epub 2009 Sep 9. PubMed

Bowles EJ, Sickles EA, Miglioretti DL, Carney PA, Elmore JG. Recommendation for short-interval follow-up examinations after a probably benign assessment: is clinical practice consistent with BI-RADS guidance?  AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010;194(4):1152-9. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Aiello Bowles EJ, Haneuse S, Elmore JG, Buist DS. Timing of follow-up after abnormal screening and diagnostic mammograms. Am J Manag Care. 2011 Feb;17(2):162-7.

Yong M, Schwartz SM, Atkinson C, Makar KW, Thomas SS, Newton KM, Aiello Bowles EJ, Holt VL, Leisenring WM, Lampe JW. Associations between polymorphisms in glucuronidation and sulfation enzymes and mammographic breast density in premenopausal women in the United States.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010;19(2):537-46. PubMed

Aiello Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Ritzwoller DP, Williams AE, Ross T, Wagner EH, Neslund-Dudas C, Altschuler A, Quinn V, Hornbrook M, Nekhlyudov L. Accuracy and complexities of using automated clinical data for capturing chemotherapy administrations: implications for future research.  Med Care. 2009;47(10):1091-7. Epub 2009 Jul 30. PubMed

Aiello Bowles EJ, Geller BM. Best ways to provide feedback to radiologists on mammography performance. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009;193(1):157-64. PubMed

 

Healthy Findings Blog

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The division contributes to research across the institute with methodological and subject matter expertise.

Breast Cancer Surveillance

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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.

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