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OSCaR Research Projects

Use of OSCaR's Data in Research

Using data for cancer prevention and control is a fundamental purpose of the Oregon State Cancer Registry. In addition to funded research, OSCaR fulfills data requests on a regular basis from the media, legislators and policy makers, individual physicians, concerned citizens, and collaborative partners (such as the Oregon Partnership for Cancer Control, American Cancer Society and Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board). Research proposals requesting the use of confidential cancer registry data must be reviewed by the Oregon Public Health Division.

CDC-NPCR provides funding and technical support to states, territories and numerous national partners. Support for cancer registries is a line item in the budget from Congress, and these dollars are used to promote the collection of complete, timely, and high quality population-based cancer data for CDC-NPCR.

Citation requirement

When data that are collected and reported through support from CDC-NPCR are used for research and publication, acknowledgment of CDC-NPCR in the text is critical. Text similar to the following sentence should be included: "These data were collected by the Oregon State Cancer Registry participating in the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."


State/Local Research Uses

Summaries of research projects using OSCaR's cancer data are listed below.


National Research Uses


State/Local Research uses an investigation of the burden of cancer in a sample of factory workers exposed to TCE-contaminated drinking water

Michael Heumann, PhD, Oregon Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology Program and Jan Semenza, PhD, Portland State University School of Community Health

In March 1998, high levels of the degreasing solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) were discovered in the well of a Beaverton factory. The well supplied drinking water to the facility from 1951-1998. This study reconstructed the cohort of 20,000+ former factory workers and determine the health effects of TCE consumption among the former workers.


Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board record linkage

Doug White, MS, Northwest Tribal Registry

This collaborative project with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board links data between the two health registries to more accurately determine the burden of cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives who reside in Oregon. This annual linkage also improves the accuracy of the count of Alaska Natives and American Indians in the OSCaR database.


Preoperative evaluation and staging in potentially resectable pancreatic cancer: a population-based study

Kevin G. Billingsley, MD, Oregon Health & Science University and Skye C. Mayo, MD/MPH Candidate, Oregon Health & Science University

The purpose of the study is to determine whether the use of preoperative laparoscopy reduces the number of nonproductive laparotomies in patients with pancreatic cancer and improves the curative resection rate. OHSU research staff collaborated with OSCaR, using information obtained from the OSCaR database augmented by focused medical records reviews, to study the patterns and outcomes of the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer. Researchers compared patients who had a laparoscopy with patients who proceeded directly to resection. The hypothesis of the study was that patients who have preoperative laparoscopy will have a higher rate of curative resection.

Articles from the study:


Surgical outcomes of a breast cancer screening program for low income women

Ricardo Jimenez-Lee, MD, Oregon Health & Science University

This project evaluated the Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCC) and quantified the impact and contribution BCC screening has on breast cancer. The research compared surgical outcomes for low income Oregon women screened by the BCC program to the general population of Oregon women screened for breast cancer.

Article from the study:


Breast cancer fracture risk studies:
1) Evaluation of physical function in premenopausal breast cancer survivors
2) Evaluation of physical function in long-term breast cancer survivors

Kerri Winters, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University

Recent data show that vertebral and perhaps hip fracture rates are elevated among women treated for breast cancer. The first fracture risk study determined the fracture risk profile in a population-based cohort of young breast cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation. The second study evaluated physical health measures, including incidence of falls and fractures, in older breast cancer survivors who are at least one year past completion of treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Article from the study:


Breast cancer and prostate cancer exercise studies

Kerri Winters, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University

Based on the conclusions from the two earlier breast cancer fracture risk studies, a series of exercise intervention studies was designed to offset the side effects of bone loss from cancer treatment and to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors. Three of the studies are controlled trials for breast cancer survivors and are funded by the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and National Cancer Institute respectively.

A prostate cancer exercise intervention study enrolled men being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which has been shown to decrease testosterone and estrogen levels and, therefore, produced bone and muscle loss similar to breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation. The prostate cancer study has been funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Both the breast and prostate cancer studies were designed to use the same types of exercise interventions and controls to reduce fracture risk in women with breast cancer and in men with prostate cancer who have been treated with ADT. For all of these studies, the Registry will identify potential participants and facilitate recruitment.


Ovarian cancer clinical trial enrollment study

Fabio Cappuccini, MD, Oregon Health & Science University

The goal of the study was to determine what factors influence a woman's decision to enroll or decline enrollment in a clinical trial for treatment of ovarian cancer. The study was conducted by identifying ovarian cancer patients through OSCaR and sending them a questionnaire that asked whether the patient had been offered a clinical trial option, and why the patient decided to enroll or not enroll.


Multnomah County liver study: five year follow-up study

Ann Thomas, MD/MPH, Oregon Public Health Division and Atif Zaman, MD/MPH, Oregon Health & Science University

The Multnomah County Liver Study, a collaborative study with CDC and OHSU, seeks to identify and describe the incidence of newly diagnosed cases of chronic liver disease (CLD) in Multnomah County. The objective of the five-year follow-up phase of the Multnomah County Liver Study is to obtain information on the progression of CLD (including the incidence of hospitalizations and serious sequelae of CLD such as cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death), treatment regimens for CLD, and use of secondary prevention measures for CLD. The follow-up study includes linkages with OSCaR to determine the incidence of patients diagnosed with CLD who have been diagnosed with liver cancer since their enrollment in the Multnomah County Liver Study.


Breast and bone follow-up study of the fracture intervention trial (B-FIT Study)

James Lacey, Jr. Ph.D, National Cancer Institute

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD), related risk factors, and cancer among older women. The specific objectives are: to assess whether higher bone mass of the proximal femur is associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer; determine whether BMD is a useful predictor of risk for endometrial, colon, or other cancers; measure whether selected biomarkers in sera can be useful for explaining the mechanism by which bone mass influences cancer risk; and explore whether genetic polymorphisms offer additional insight into the mechanism by which BMD might influence cancer risk. The study conducted a linkage with the OSCaR database to obtain information on the cancers diagnosed in study participants.


Cancer epidemiology in Adventists, a low risk group (AHS-2)

Gary Fraser, MBChB, PhD, Loma Linda University

AHS-2 is a National Cancer Institute-funded study that aims to enroll 70,000 Seventh Day Adventists (and 35,000 controls) from across the US and to have them complete a questionnaire about diet and other lifestyle factors. The primary hypotheses of the study relate to cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate and the possible relationship of intake of dietary soy protein to the risk of these cancers. The study involves a linkage of the Adventist Health Study cohort to the Oregon State Cancer Registry in order to confirm self-reported cancers and to identify additional cancers among AHS-2 cohort members in Oregon.


Estimates of cancer prevalence in Gulf veterans using state registries

Han Kang, DrPH, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

The aim of this study is to evaluate the hypothesis that 1990-1991 Gulf War veterans are at an increased risk of developing cancer compared to non-Gulf veterans. The study is designed to estimate cancer prevalence in Gulf Veterans by matching a list of Gulf War veterans and non-Gulf controls with several state cancer registries to determine cancer diagnoses in these groups. Preliminary studies have indicated increases in testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and brain cancer among veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. The goal of the study is to develop a new health care and compensation policy that will benefit Gulf War veterans, including veterans from Oregon.


National Program of Cancer Registries-Indian Health Services record linkage

Centers for Disease Control, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and Indian Health Service National Epidemiology Program

Cancer registries supported by the National Program of Central Cancer Registries are linked with national patient registration records from the Indian Health Services to identify the extent of misclassification, correct such errors in participating registries, evaluate the usefulness of the linkage, and calculate adjusted cancer rates for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.