Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is honoring ITA Senior Scientist Carrie Lubitz, MD, MPH as one of "The One Hundred" for 2017. 

Created and supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the one hundred is an awareness and fundraising initiative that celebrates hope in the cancer community. Honored each year are 100 Everyday Amazing individuals and groups — caregivers, researchers, philanthropists, advocates and volunteers from around the globe —who are taking action in the fight against cancer in inspiring and often revolutionary ways. Honorees are selected through a public nomination process and this celebration this year takes place on June 15th at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.

From the article:

Through her clinical and translational research efforts, Carrie Lubitz, MD, MPH, is influencing thyroid cancer care across the world.

Dr. Lubitz has placed a high priority on prediction and decision-analytic modeling. This, in turn, has helped to assess the comparative effectiveness and improve the quality of care of patients with endocrine-related disorders. Her focus on this area is exceedingly important, as it underscores the need for cancer care to be closely aligned with the specific needs of each patient.

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ITA faculty and staff were invited participants at the MGH Radiological Society 2017 Hampton Symposium. The MGH Radiological Society, which fosters professional, scientific, and medical interactions amongst radiology alumni at Mass General.

The event started with the Distinguished Alumnus Presentation, Rebranding the Radiologist by Geralding McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR.

Research talks by the ITA included The Search for High-Value Healthcare by ITA Director Pari V. Pandharipande, MD, MPH. Chin Hur, MD, MPH presented Building Simulation Models to Assess Cancer Interventions:  The NIH CISNET Comparative Modeling Consortium. And Amy Knudsen, PhD delivered a talk Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendations: From Decision Science to Health Policy.

The ITA was also invited to particpate in a meet & greet poster session:

Genetic Testing to Guide MRI Screening for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: Results of a Microsimulation Model

Presenter: Mary Linton Peters, MD
PI: Pari Pandharipande, MD, MPH

Imaging Follow-up of Low-risk Incidental Findings: Effects of Patient Age and Comorbidity Level on Projected Life Expectancy Benefits

Presenter: Tiana Raphel, BA;
PI: Pari Pandharipande, MD, MPH

Cytosponge Tissue Sampling to Screen for Barrett's Esophagus: a CISNET Modeling Analysis

Presenter: Ayman Ali, BS
PI: Chin Hur, MD, MPH

Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents: a Cost-effectiveness Analysis

Presenter: Jin Choi, BS
PI: Chin Hur, MD, MPH

Cost-effectiveness of Multitarget Stool DNA Testing for Colorectal Cancer Screening of Medicare Beneficiaries

Presenter & PI: Amy Knudsen, PhD

Benefits and Harms of Lung Cancer Screening in HIV Infected Individuals: a Simulation Study

Presenter: Steven Criss, BS
PI: Chung Yin Kong, PhD

Controlling Smoking-related Diseases in China: Use of a Simulation Model to Project the Impact of Health Policy Interventions

Presenter: Deirdre Sheehan, MPH
PI: Chung Yin Kong, PhD

Timing of Hepatitis C Treatment in Patients on the Liver Transplant Waiting List: Simulation of a Virtual Trial

Presenter: Sumeyye Samur, PhD
PI: Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD

Cost-effectiveness of Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Patients

Presenter: Qiushi Chen, PhD
PI: Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD)

A Health-related Quality-of-life Index for Patients with Lung Cancer

Presenter & PI: J. Shannon Swan, MD

The Thyroid Cancer Policy Model: a Mathematical Simulation Model of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma in the U.S. Population

Presenter: Tiannan Zhan, MS
PI: Carrie Lubitz, MD, MPH

Diagnostic Yield of Recommendations for Chest CT Examination Prompted by Outpatient Chest Radiographic Findings

Presenter & PI: H. Benjamin Harvey, MD, JD

A recent study in Radiology found that CT results impact clinical decision making and substantially increase diagnostic confidence among primary care physicians (PCPs).

Ninety-one PCPs completed pre- and post-CT surveys related to the care of 373 patients in institutions across the country.

ITA Senior Scientist Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD and two PCORT alumni are featured in the WBUR series ‘This Moment in Cancer’. Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, is Chief, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH is Medical Director, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

Both Drs. Chhatwal and Jackson are featured in the story ‘From the War on Cancer to the Moonship: ‘What’s different Now is Everything’’. Dr. Chhatwal discusses the affordability of the new, more effective therapies, and Dr. Jackson addresses some shortcomings of the new targeted drug therapies.

Dr. Jackson is also featured in From The 'Lowest Of Lows' To The 'Highest Of Highs': Navigating A New Reality After A Cancer Turnaround

Dr. Lathan discusses how poverty can impact treatment in ‘‘It’s Not An Even Playing Field’: How Financial Instability Takes A Toll On Cancer Patients‘’.

Dr. Chhatwal is interviewed in ‘As Cancer Drugs' Prices Skyrocket, Experts Worry About Burden On Patients, Health Systems’

The entire series is available at

Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, a Senior Scientist at the ITA and an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School was recently quoted in Stat News. In their analysis in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team demonstrates how, at current prices, new targeted therapies for CLL – the most common form of leukemia in the western world – could financially burden patients and payers. 

From the article: 

"'It’s a disturbing concern,' said one of the study authors, Jagpreet Chhatwal, who is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a senior scientist at the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General Hospital. 'And it’s happening now in CLL… Drug prices have to come down to make them more effective and more affordable.'

He suggested that CLL prices should be rolled back by at least 50 to 75 percent to make the medicines more cost effective. The researchers noted that, while the standard measurement of cost effectiveness is whether a medicine costs less than $100,000 for each additional year of life gained, the projected cost of CLL pills is $189,000."

Other authors of the study are Co-lead authors Qiushi Chen, PhD of the ITA, and Nitin Jain, MD of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Additional authors are Turgay Ayer, PhD, MSc, Georgia Institute of Technology; William Wierda, MD, PhD, Michael Keating, MBBS, and Hagop Kantarjian, MD, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Christopher Flowers, MD, Emory University; and Susan O’Brien, MD, University of California Irvine Medical Center. 

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