Division of Biostatistics

Examples of Recent Collaborative Projects

Clinical Trials

The Division of Biostatistics provides statistical support to all the in-house protocols of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) and the Jefferson Oncology Group. This includes advice on study design, help with writing of the protocol, implementation of randomization, and data analysis. Dr. Leiby serves as the Director of the Biostatistics Core for the SKCC; Drs. Chervoneva, Daskalakis, Keith, and Leiby are all involved in various activities in oncology research.

Behavioral Intervention Trials

With funding from NCI, ACS, and other sources, Dr. Ron Myers and collaborators in the Department of Medical Oncology (Division of Population Science) have been conducting research on decision making. They have developed interventions to promote informed decision making for colorectal and prostate cancer screening, and have conducted a number of developmental studies, as well as large-scale randomized trials. Drs. Daskalakis and Keith have been close collaborators in this research.

Drs. Barry Rovner and Robin Casten in the Department of Psychiatry have been pursuing research on the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral treatment among adults with age-related macular degeneration. Previous research, funded by NIMH, showed that Problem-Solving Treatment, a standardized home-based treatment that teaches problem-solving skills, prevents depression in patients with AMD. Dr. Leiby has been a close collaborator in this research.

Recently completed research, funded by the National Eye Institute, enrolled subjects into a randomized clinical trial to test the ability of Behavioral Activation and Low Vision Occupational Thearapy to improve vision functioning. Dr. Leiby has been closely involved in this research program.

Observational Studies

With funding support from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Dr. Falkner (Department of Medicine), Drs. Plumb and Rappaport (Department of Family and Community Medicine), and Dr. Daskalakis conducted obesity-related research. Studies included the investigation of biological pathways involved in obesity-related morbidity, as well as efforts for obesity control in the community and in primary care (particularly among underserved minority populations). These efforts also included mentoring of students and junior researchers interested in obesity research.

With NHLBI funding, Dr. Cheng (Department of Family and Community Medicine) has pursued a research program related to the development of prehypertension and progression to cardiovascular disease. The research has focused on the role of inflammatory markers, sleep, and insulin resistance, and has also studied various measures of capillary and endothelial dysfunction, among young adults without overt clinical symptoms or disease. Dr. Daskalakis has been a key collaborator in these research efforts.

Other Clinical Science

Dr. Scott Waldman (Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) has had two NCI-funded multi-center studies to determine the potential utility of a biomarker, guanylyl cyclase C (GCC), for the clinical staging of patients with colorectal cancer. Among the study's goals were the definition of the specificity of expression of GCC in human tissues (including primary and metastatic tumors) and the comparison of staging via GCC RT-PCR to staging via conventional histopathology in terms of the patients' clinical outcomes.