Through the integration of a mentored research experience with formal coursework at the Harvard School of Public Health, this proposal will support and enrich the development of Akila N. Viswanathan, MD, MPH, as an investigator committed to an academic career in cancer control and epidemiology. The proposed research will analyze risk factors for endometrial cancer using the Nurses' Health Study database. The analyses will focus on understanding the role of inflammation in the development of endometrial cancer.
In Aim 1, the proposed research project will clarify the role of anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in relation to the risk of endometrial cancer and contrast these results to those of acetaminophen, which is not an anti-inflammatory medication. The role of genetic polymorphisms of the enzymes CYP2C9 and UGT1A6 in the metabolism of aspirin in relation to its effect will be studied. Since the role of treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs has not been analyzed in any prior epidemiologic study, this research will provide a more thorough understanding of the underlying etiology and biology of this cancer and provide public health information on the impact of consumption of these agents with regard to dose and duration of use.
In Aim 2, we will examine the role of increased inflammation on the risk of endometrial cancer. Specifically, this project will analyze the role of the pro-inflammatory intra-uterine device (IUD) using the Nurses' Health Study prospective cohorts. The role of markers of systemic inflammation will be assessed by a nested case-control analysis of the biomarkers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, providing the first analysis of these biomarkers in relation to endometrial cancer risk. All analyses will be performed by Dr. Viswanathan. She will acquire experience in analyzing prospective cohort and case-control studies, questionnaires, biomarkers, and genetic polymorphisms. The results of this proposed research will provide important new information about the etiology of endometrial cancer and assist with the assessment of future population risk. Through this grant, Dr. Viswanathan will obtain a doctoral degree in epidemiology, and thereby will have the requisite training to become a true expert in the field. This proposal will ensure that she will become an established independent investigator and a leading expert in gynecologic cancer epidemiology. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Gorelic, Lester S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United States
Zip Code
Townamchai, Kanokpis; Lee, Larissa; Viswanathan, Akila N (2012) A novel low dose fractionation regimen for adjuvant vaginal brachytherapy in early stage endometrioid endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol 127:351-5
Viswanathan, Akila N; Beriwal, Sushil; De Los Santos, Jennifer F et al. (2012) American Brachytherapy Society consensus guidelines for locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix. Part II: high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Brachytherapy 11:47-52
Kapur, Tina; Egger, Jan; Damato, Antonio et al. (2012) 3-T MR-guided brachytherapy for gynecologic malignancies. Magn Reson Imaging 30:1279-90
Viswanathan, Akila N; Creutzberg, Carien L; Craighead, Peter et al. (2012) International brachytherapy practice patterns: a survey of the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 82:250-5
Lee, Larissa J; Viswanathan, Akila N (2012) Combined chemotherapy and radiation improves survival for node-positive endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol 127:32-7
Viswanathan, Akila N; Moughan, Jennifer; Small Jr, William et al. (2012) The quality of cervical cancer brachytherapy implantation and the impact on local recurrence and disease-free survival in radiation therapy oncology group prospective trials 0116 and 0128. Int J Gynecol Cancer 22:123-31
Viswanathan, Akila N; Macklin, Eric A; Berkowitz, Ross et al. (2011) The importance of chemotherapy and radiation in uterine papillary serous carcinoma. Gynecol Oncol 123:542-7
Wo, Jennifer Y; Viswanathan, Akila N (2009) Impact of radiotherapy on fertility, pregnancy, and neonatal outcomes in female cancer patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 73:1304-12
Viswanathan, Akila N; Schernhammer, Eva S (2009) Circulating melatonin and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in women. Cancer Lett 281:1-7
Lee, Larissa J; Sadow, Cheryl A; Russell, Anthony et al. (2009) Correlation of point B and lymph node dose in 3D-planned high-dose-rate cervical cancer brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 75:803-9

Showing the most recent 10 out of 17 publications