Elizabeth B. Lamont, MD, MS, is a medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Her main academic endeavor is research in clinical epidemiology and health services research in cancer.
Her research examines factors that are biologically separate from cancer but that are nonetheless important determinants of its presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and mortality outcomes. In this research, she strives to be innovative in at least two broad ways: first, by focusing on nonmalignant factors that affect malignant disease course; and second, by privileging a life-course perspective in oncology, thus examining the full trajectory of cancer, from screening for an illness to death.
She is currently leading on three distinct projects. The first project, Neighborhood Effects on Cancer Course in the Aged, represents a cross-Harvard collaboration with investigators from HMS, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and evaluates the importance of social and health care context (i.e., environment) on the full trajectory of cancer in the US elderly, from diagnosis through death. In this work, we analyze a three-level, hierarchical dataset in order understand the relative contributions of patients factors, social environment factors, and health service availability on discrete patient outcomes along their cancer course.
The second project, Population-Based Assessment of Cancer Trial Generalizability in the Elderly, represents another cross Harvard collaboration between investigators at HMS, two Harvard hospitals (i.e., MGH and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and FAS and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer and Leukemia Group B cooperative trial group. The study compares survival outcomes of cancer patients treated on clinical trials to stage and site-matched elderly Medicare cancer patients treated in the usual care setting following nominally identical standard chemotherapy regimens. The work begins to fill voids in clinical knowledge regarding the generalizability of trial results to elderly cancer patients treated in the usual care setting and provides insights into the magnitude patient selection bias in clinical trials.
The third project, Do Medicare Claims Measure Cancer Relapse Patients: An External Validation Study, evaluates whether it is possible to determine disease-free survival (DFS) among elderly cancer patients through evaluation of their Medicare administrative data. The study is a validation study in which a Medicare-based estimate of DFS is compared to a gold-standard of DFS contained within clinical trial data and medical record data. DFS is the key survival endpoint in adjuvant chemotherapy studies and as such a valid method of measuring it within observational data is desperately needed to advance comparative effectiveness research in cancer.
Dr. Lamont received her MD from Dartmouth and her MS in health studies from the University of Chicago. She was a medicine resident at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was a medical oncology fellow, medical ethics fellow, and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Chicago. From 2000-2003 she was a member of the faculty of medicine at the University of Chicago.