Geospatial Approaches to Cancer Control and Population Sciences

December 11, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:45am
Temple University, Fox Chase Cancer Center
1-125 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building (CCRB)
Shashi Shekhar

Abstract: The widespread use of geographic information systems (GIS), along with increasing sophistication in applied spatial methods, has resulted in more researchers and organizations developing and applying geospatial approaches in health research. In cancer research, where people live, work, and play are increasingly recognized as critical factors affecting outcomes across the cancer control continuum (etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship). Furthermore, in recent years many NCI cancer centers have begun to formally integrate geospatial approaches into their personalized or precision medicine initiatives, and to use geospatial methods to identify cancer disparities, target populations for interventions, and for defining a center’s catchment area. Given the recent growth of geospatial analysis in cancer research, I will briefly discuss the history of the use of geographic data and spatial analysis in cancer control and prevention, describe the main geospatial approaches in cancer research, and outline emerging research areas. I will highlight and describe the various geographic approaches and methods using several of my research projects including the spatial diffusion of digital mammography in the U.S, mapping breast cancer survival disparities using Bayesian spatial models, integrating area-based measures into national cancer datasets, and incorporating residential histories into population-based cancer registries. 

Bio: Dr. Kevin Henry is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University and a member of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control program. He is a medical geographer and his research and teaching focus on the intersection between geography, public health and epidemiology. Dr. Kevin Henry's research focuses on describing and understanding place-based and geographic disparities in health and disease (e.g., cancer, ALS, obesity, tuberculosis infection, pre-term birth), with a specific emphasis on applied geographic methods and the role geographic factors play on cancer outcomes and prevention. He has focused on cancer control and prevention for the last ten years, spending three of those years as Associate Director for the New Jersey State Cancer Registry where he served as Site Principal Investigator (PI) on several NIH funded grants. Dr. Kevin Henry has led several research studies that used cancer registry and health survey data to describe racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in cancer incidence, treatment, prevention, survival, and screening among various populations. In the past several years, he has both led and worked with interdisciplinary teams  on projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen. Dr. Henry is currently the PI on a grant funded by the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences Program entitled “Incorporating Residential Histories into Space-Time Models for Health Geographic Analysis“