UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Brenda F. Kurland, PhD

Brenda Kurland
Research Associate Professor of Biostatistics


Contact Information

Contact Information

UPCI Biostatistics Facility
Sterling Plaza Suite 325
201 N Craig St
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-383-1128
Email: bfk10@pitt.edu

Administrative Assistant
Name: Judith Hreha
Email: jah57@pitt.edu

Research Keywords

Research Keywords

Biostatistics; clinical trial design; lung cancer; breast cancer; functional imaging; PET; MRI

Research Summary

Research Summary


Estrogen receptor expression (Y axis) in 505 lesions in 91 patients (X axis), by FES PET (Kurland et. al., JNucMed 2011)

My original research interest, dating back to undergraduate studies in language development, is analysis of longitudinal and other correlated data. Missing data prevent simple pre/post analysis of data collected longitudinally, and are a barrier to more detailed analysis as well. The missing data literature concentrates on implicit or explicit imputation of missing values, so that inference can be made as if the data were not missing. My research considers another possibility: when the “missing” data do not even exist, as for data missing due to death. When analyses accommodate “missing at random” longitudinal data, imputation beyond death can influence study conclusions. For example, since cognitive performance often declines as death approaches, implicit imputation of cognitive performance scores beyond death could lead to lowered estimates of average functioning for survivors. My doctoral dissertation formalized an additional approach: partly conditioning on survival status, using techniques from standard methods such as generalized linear models and weighted estimating equations. The target of inference for these partly conditional models may be referred to as “regression conditioning on being alive.”

More recently, as a cancer center biostatistician, I have worked with investigators to design early phase clinical trials that include placebo controls, pharmacodynamic endpoints, and/or correlative studies to assess measurement of tumor markers. My area of emphasis is clinical research involving functional imaging, specifically PET and breast MRI. Statistical research on incorporating biomarkers into clinical trial study design has emphasized tissue and blood biomarkers. Since functional imaging has different strengths (in vivo functional information and measurement of multiple tumors) and weaknesses (limited access to archived samples), refinements to address statistical treatment of quantitative functional imaging data are a valuable contribution both to the clinical trials literature and to functional imaging.

My independent research in quantitative imaging has encompassed both analysis of correlated data and study design. I have examined within-patient differences in estrogen receptor functioning in breast cancer patients with multiple lesions, to inform design of functional imaging predictive markers to guide use of endocrine therapy. Another current project uses data from PET test-retest studies, calibration studies, and clinical trials to provide parameters for simulation studies to inform the use of quantitative imaging in future clinical trials. For example, the benefits of using simpler imaging protocols at a larger number of sites can be weighed against the potential for greater precision and lower detection thresholds accomplished by sophisticated imaging protocols available at fewer sites.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Villaruz LC, Socinski MA, Abberbock S, Berry LD, Johnson BE, Kwiatkowski DJ, Iafrate AJ, Varella-Garcia M, Franklin WA, Camidge DR, Sequist LV, Haura EB, Ladanyi M, Kurland BF, Kugler K, Minna JD, Bunn PA, Kris MG. Clinicopathologic features and outcomes of patients with lung adenocarcinomas harboring BRAF mutations in the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium. Cancer. 2014 Oct 1. PubMed Link
    Shared Resources Used: BF
  • Bauman JE, Austin MC, Schmidt R, Kurland BF, Vaezi A, Hayes DN, Mendez E, Parvathaneni U, Chai X, Sampath S, Martins RG. ERCC1 is a prognostic biomarker in locally advanced head and neck cancer: Results From a randomised, phase II trial. Br J Cancer. 2013 Oct 15;109(8):2096-105. PubMed Link
    Shared Resources Used: BF
  • Kurland BF, Doot RK, Linden HM, Mankoff DA, Kinahan PE. Multicenter trials using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET to predict chemotherapy response: Effects of differential measurement error and bias on power calculations for unselected and enrichment designs. Clin Trials. 2013;10(6):886-95. PubMed Link
    Shared Resources Used: BF
  • Martins RG, Parvathaneni U, Bauman JE, Sharma AK, Raez LE, Papagikos MA, Yunus F, Kurland BF, Eaton KD, Liao JJ, Mendez E, Futran N, Wang DX, Chai X, Wallace SG, Austin M, Schmidt R, Hayes DN. Cisplatin-radiotherapy with or without erlotinib in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: A randomized phase II trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology Apr 10;31 (11): 1415-21, 2013. PubMed Link
  • Kurland BF, Gadi VK, Specht JM, Allison KH, Livingston RB, Rodler ET, Peterson LM, Schubert EK, Chai X, Mankoff DA, Linden HM. Feasibility study of FDG PET as an indicator of early response to aromatase inhibitors and trastuzumab in a heterogeneous group of breast cancer patients. EJNMMI Res 2 (1): 34, 2012. PubMed Link
  • Kurland BF, Peterson LM, Lee JH, Linden HM, Schubert EK, Dunnwald LK, Link JM, Krohn KA, Mankoff DA. Between-patient and within-patient (site-to-site) variability in estrogen receptor binding, measured in vivo by 18F-fluoroestradiol (FES) PET. J Nuclear Med. Oct;52(10): 1541-9, 2011. PubMed Link
  • Specht JM, Kurland BF, Montgomery BK, Dunnwald LK, Doot RK, Gralow JR, Ellis GK, Linden HM, Livingston RB, Allison K, Schubert EK, Mankoff DA. Tumor metabolism and blood flow as assessed by PET varies by tumor subtype in locally advanced breast cancer. Clinical Cancer Research May;16 (10): 2803-10, 2010. PubMed Link
  • Partridge SC, DeMartini WB, Kurland BF, Eby PR, White SW, Lehman CD. Differential diagnosis of mammographically and clinically occult breast lesions on diffusion-weighted MRI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Mar; 31(3): 562-570, 2010. PubMed Link
  • Kurland BF, Johnson LL, Egleston BL, Diehr PH. Longitudinal data with follow-up truncated by death: match the analysis method to the research aims. Statistical Science 24 (2): 211-222, 2009. PubMed Link
  • Dunnwald LK, Gralow JR, Ellis GK, Livingston RB, Linden HM, Specht JM, Doot RK, Lawton TJ, Barlow WE, Kurland BF, Schubert EK, Mankoff DA. Tumor metabolism and blood flow changes by positron emission tomography: relation to survival in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology Sep.20; 26 (27): 4449-4457, 2008. PubMed Link

See all pubs (Pubmed)

Collaborations

Collaborations

Current Internal Collaborators

Carolyn Anderson, PhD
Professor of Radiology
Member - Head and Neck Cancer Program (HNCP)

Sanja Dacic, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology
Member - Lung Cancer Program (LCP)

Carissa Low, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Member - Biobehavioral Oncology Program (BOP)

James Mountz, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiology
Member - Cancer Therapeutics Program (CTP)

Ashok Panigrahy, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiology

Liza Villaruz, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Member - Lung Cancer Program (LCP)

Shandong Wu, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Radiology
Member - Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program (BOCP)

Current External Collaborators

Paul Kinahan, PhD
Professor of Radiology
University of Washington

Hannah Linden, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Washington

David Mankoff, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiology
University of Pennsylvania

Shared Resource Usage

Shared Resource Usage

  • Biostatistics Facility

Affiliated Graduate Programs

Department Website









Last modified: 10/21/14