Welcome to the Etzioni Lab


The Etzioni Lab focuses on innovative statistical and computer modeling to project the comparative outcomes of cancer control interventions. Our projects “go beyond the data” in an effort to develop a deeper, more mechanistic understanding of cancer progression.

Recent projects have used modeling to:

  • Interrogate trends in prostate cancer in the US population to quantify the likely roles of treatment changes and screening in population prostate cancer mortality declines
  • Generated unique insights about prostate cancer natural history and overdiagnosis due to PSA screening
  • Study the harm-benefit tradeoffs of many competing screening policies to support recommendations made by the American Urology Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer network, and the British Columbia Cancer Agency
  • Correctly interpret the results of the large prostate cancer screening trials
  • Translate results of comparative effectiveness studies that end at intermediate endpoints into results that project the impact on cancer deaths
  • Project the impact of active surveillance on disease-specific mortality for newly-diagnosed low-risk prostate cancers
  • Interrogate serial biopsy grade data from men on active surveillance to make inferences about whether prostate tumors dedifferentiate over time.

Our work on cancer modeling is part of a broader research program that includes methodologic as well as applied research. A major area of methodologic interest is the estimation of lead time and overdiagnosis, which was the subject of a recent Research and Methods publication in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Other methods work includes the development of Bayesian models and methods to study longitudinal biomarker trajectories and their associations with disease transitions in the pre- and post-diagnosis settings. In the coming years, we will be using these methods to study disease progression in the active surveillance setting with the goals of developing policy recommendations for management of newly-diagnosed, low-risk prostate cancer.

In addition to these projects, the Etzioni Lab leads the Biostatistics Core for the Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer SPORE and serves as a central consulting resource for the prostate cancer investigators at the FHCRC, the SCCA, and the University of Washington. Our investigators are statisticians with broad expertise in data analysis, simulation modeling, Bayesian methods, computer programming, and graphics.