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

Manager, Collaborative Science, 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

Ramin C, Gierach GL, Abubakar M, Veiga LHS, Vo JB, Curtis RE, Bowles EJ, Feigelson HS, Buist DSM, de Gonzalez AB, Bodelon C. The influence of treatment on hormone receptor subgroups and breast cancer-specific mortality within US integrated healthcare systems. Cancer Causes Control. 2022 May 18. doi: 10.1007/s10552-022-01589-4. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Abubakar M, Mullooly M, Nyante S, Pfeiffer RM, Bowles EJA, Cora R, Bodelon C, Butler E, Butcher D, Sternberg L, Troester M, Weinmann S, Sherman M, Glass AG, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Gierach GL. Mammographic density decline, tamoxifen response, and prognosis by molecular characteristics of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2022 May 2;6(3):pkac028. doi: 10.1093/jncics/pkac028. PubMed

Bowles EJA, Ramin C, Buist DSM, Feigelson HS, Weinmann S, Veiga LHS, Bodelon C, Curtis RE, Vo JB, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Gierach GL. Endocrine therapy initiation among women with stage I-III invasive, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer from 2001-2016. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2022 May;193(1):203-216. doi: 10.1007/s10549-022-06561-z. Epub 2022 Mar 11. PubMed

Kwan ML, Miglioretti DL, Bowles EJA, Weinmann S, Greenlee RT, Stout NK, Rahm AK, Alber SA, Pequeno P, Moy LM, Stewart C, Fong C, Jenkins CL, Kohnhorst D, Luce C, Mor JM, Munneke JR, Prado Y, Buth G, Cheng SY, Deosaransingh KA, Francisco M, Lakoma M, Martinez YT, Theis MK, Marlow EC, Kushi LH, Duncan JR, Bolch WE, Pole JD, Smith-Bindman R. Quantifying cancer risk from exposures to medical imaging in the Risk of Pediatric and Adolescent Cancer Associated with Medical Imaging (RIC) Study: research methods and cohort profile. Cancer Causes Control. 2022 May;33(5):711-726. doi: 10.1007/s10552-022-01556-z. Epub 2022 Feb 2. PubMed

Weinmann S, Francisco MC, Kwan ML, Bowles EJA, Rahm AK, Greenlee RT, Stout NK, Pole JD, Kushi LH, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Positive predictive value and sensitivity of ICD-9-CM codes for identifying pediatric leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2022 Feb;69(2):e29383. doi: 10.1002/pbc.29383. Epub 2021 Nov 13. PubMed

Conley CC, Wernli KJ, Knerr S, Li T, Leppig K, Ehrlich K, Farrell D, Gao H, Bowles EJA, Graham AL, Luta G, Jayasekera J, Mandelblatt JS, Schwartz MD, O'Neill SC. Using protection motivation theory to predict intentions for breast cancer risk management: intervention mechanisms from a randomized controlled trial. J Cancer Educ. 2021 Nov 23. doi: 10.1007/s13187-021-02114-y. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Healthy findings blog

KP Mobile Mammogram screening truck

Prioritizing breast screening during COVID-19

As cancer screening rates rebound, Erin Bowles, MPH, reflects on maintaining “pink ribbon” awareness year-round.

healthy findings

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Ask an epidemiologist: Where to learn about COVID-19

There’s much confusion about the new disease, but numbers don’t lie. The challenge is finding the right ones.

cancer research

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Using breast MRI after cancer may lead to unneeded biopsies

A Kaiser Permanente-led BCSC study is among the largest ever to evaluate adding MRI surveillance for breast cancer survivors.

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