Welcome Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas (CERCIT)

CERCIT is a multidisciplinary consortium of investigators at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University and the Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Cancer Registry. CERCIT is funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).


Study supports close coordination of care to impact unplanned hospitalizations for elderly patients with GI cancer

A recent study by investigators with the Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer In Texas (CERCIT) project examined the incidence of unplanned hospitalizations in 30,199 elderly Texas patients diagnosed with GI cancer. According to lead author, Dr. Joanna-Grace Manzano, unplanned hospitalizations among elderly patients with GI cancer are common, with some of the top reasons being potentially preventable. Read more.

Justin E. Bird, MD

Paralyzing Cancer before It Paralyzes You. Managing cancer-related spinal cord compression

by Justin E. Bird, MD

The National Cancer Institute estimated that in 2011 there were over 13 million people living with cancer in the US. More recently, the Institute predicted that 1.6 million people would be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2014. The good news is that through research and medical advances, many cancers can now be successfully treated, resulting in millions of cancer survivors. The not-so-good news is that many cancers spread to other parts of the body, and unless these spreading cancers – known as metastatic cancer – are identified and treated early, they can wreak havoc on the body and greatly diminish quality of life for survivors. Read more.

Dr. Ana M. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Study recommends earlier colorectal cancer screenings for young cervical cancer survivors

Galveston Daily News, Jan. 27, 2015

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a designation made by Congress to raise cervical cancer awareness and education and encourage research into its cause, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. If you are a cervical cancer survivor younger than 50 who received radiation as part of your treatment, you should be aware of new colorectal cancer screening recommendations based on findings of a recent UTMB study. "Based on our study’s findings, a woman who developed cervical cancer and received radiation at a young age should not wait until she is 50 to get her first colonoscopy, said UTMB’s Dr. Ana Rodriguez. "These women should ask their primary care providers about starting screening approximately eight years after radiation treatment.” The news also appears in the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Hispanic women less likely to survive endometrial uterine cancer

Oncology Nurse Advisor, Jan. 12, 2015

Continuing Coverage: In the largest study to date evaluating outcomes of Hispanic women with endometrial uterine cancer, researchers have found that Hispanic women in the United States were significantly less likely to survive the cancer than non-Hispanic white women. "While the incidence of endometrial cancer is higher in non-Hispanic white women, we found that minority patients tend to be diagnosed with more aggressive cancer. Early detection is vital to improving endometrial cancer survival as most of the disparity was due to the progression of the disease,” said UTMB’s Dr. Ana Rodriguez. "Increased efforts are needed to improve education and increase access to early care for Hispanic women.”

Poor survival rates uncovered for Hispanic women with endometrial cancer

Saludify - Health, Dec. 14, 2014

New research from CERCIT investigator, Ana M. Rodriquez, MD, has shown poor survival rates for Hispanic women diagnosed with endometrial cancer. In an effort to shed light on endometrial cancer among Hispanic women, Rodriguez and her team put together the largest study to date which included 69,000 participants. "Most research has focused on comparisons of white and black women with endometrial cancer," said Dr. Ana M. Rodriguez, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UTMB.  She noted that very few studies have examined the age distribution, disease presentation, and endometrial cancer outcomes among Hispanic women.  The study concludes that the survival disparity seen among Hispanic women with endometrial cancer has much to do with timely treatment. The news also appears in UTMB News, Houston Chronicle and Medical Xpress.


2015 CERCIT Publications
Austin MT, Nguyen H, Eberth JM, Chang Y, Heczey A, Hughes DP, Lally KP, & Elting LS. Health disparities are important determinants of outcome for children with solid tumor malignancies. J Pediatr Surg, 2015 Jan  50(1), 161-166. PMID25598116
Chavez-MacGregor M, Niu J, Zhang N, Elting LS, Smith BD, Banchs J, Hortobagyi GN, & Giordano SH. Cardiac Monitoring During Adjuvant Trastuzumab-Based Chemotherapy Among Older Patients With Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol, 2015 Jul 1  33(19), 2176-2183. PMID25964256
Cooper AB, Parmar AD, Riall TS, Hall BL, Katz MH, Aloia TA, & Pitt HA. Does the use of neoadjuvant therapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma increase postoperative morbidity and mortality rates? J Gastrointest Surg, 2015 Jan  19(1), 80-86; discussion 86-87. PMID25091851
Gomez DR, Liao KP, Swisher SG, Blumenschein GR, Erasmus JJ, Jr., Buchholz TA, Giordano SH, & Smith BD. Time to treatment as a quality metric in lung cancer: Staging studies, time to treatment, and patient survival. Radiother Oncol, 2015 May  115(2), 257-263.


Guadagnolo BA, Liao KP, Giordano SH, Elting LS, & Shih YC. Variation in Intensity and Costs of Care by Payer and Race for Patients Dying of Cancer in Texas: An Analysis of Registry-linked Medicaid, Medicare, and Dually Eligible Claims Data. Med Care, 2015 Jul  53(7), 591-598. PMID26067883
He W, Zhao H, Chan W, Lopez D, Shroff RT, & Giordano SH. Underuse of surgical resection among elderly patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer. Surgery, 2015 Jun 29. PMID26138347
Jagsi R, Jiang J, Momoh AO, Alderman A, Giordano SH, Buchholz TA, Pierce LJ, Kronowitz SJ, & Smith BD. Complications After Mastectomy and Immediate Breast Reconstruction for Breast Cancer: A Claims-based Analysis. Ann Surg, 2015 Apr 14. PMID25876011
Nayak P, Paxton RJ, Holmes H, Thanh Nguyen H, & Elting LS. Racial and ethnic differences in health behaviors among cancer survivors. Am J Prev Med, 2015 Jun  48(6), 729-736. PMID25998923
Riall TS, Adhikari D, Parmar AD, Linder SK, Dimou FM, Crowell W, Tamirisa NP, Townsend CM, Jr., & Goodwin JS. The risk paradox: use of elective cholecystectomy in older patients is independent of their risk of developing complications. J Am Coll Surg, 2015 Apr  220(4), 682-690. PMID25660731
Shaitelman SF, Schlembach PJ, Arzu I, Ballo M, Bloom ES, Buchholz D, Chronowski GM, Dvorak T, Grade E, Hoffman KE, Kelly P, Ludwig M, Perkins GH, Reed V, Shah S, Stauder MC, Strom EA, Tereffe W, Woodward WA, Ensor J, Baumann D, Thompson AM, Amaya D, Davis T, Guerra W, Hamblin L, Hortobagyi G, Hunt KK, Buchholz TA, & Smith BD. Acute and Short-term Toxic Effects of Conventionally Fractionated vs Hypofractionated Whole-Breast Irradiation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol, 2015 Aug 6.


Smith BD. When is good enough really good enough? Defining the role of radiation in low-risk ductal carcinoma in situ. J Clin Oncol, 2015 Mar 1  33(7), 686-691. PMID25605858
Smith BD, Jiang J, Chang JY, Welsh J, Likhacheva A, Buchholz TA, Swisher SG, & Shirvani SM. Cost-effectiveness of stereotactic radiation, sublobar resection, and lobectomy for early non-small cell lung cancers in older adults. J Geriatr Oncol, 2015 Jul  6(4), 324-331. PMID26094172
Smith GL, Huo J, Giordano SH, Hunt KK, Buchholz TA, & Smith BD. Utilization and Outcomes of Breast Brachytherapy in Younger Women. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2015 Sep 1  93(1), 91-101. PMID26279027
Smith GL, Jiang J, Giordano SH, Meyer LA, & Eifel PJ. Trends in the quality of treatment for patients with intact cervical cancer in the United States, 1999 through 2011. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2015 Jun 1  92(2), 260-267. PMID25968823
Tamirisa NP, Parmar AD, Vargas GM, Mehta HB, Kilbane EM, Hall BL, Pitt HA, & Riall TS. Relative Contributions of Complications and Failure to Rescue on Mortality in Older Patients Undergoing Pancreatectomy. Ann Surg, 2015 Jan 5. PMID25563871
Tamirisa NP, Sheffield KM, Parmar AD, Zimmermann CJ, Adhikari D, Vargas GM, Kuo YF, Goodwin JS, & Riall TS. Surgeon and Facility Variation in the Use of Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsy in Texas. Ann Surg, 2015 Jul  262(1), 171-178. PMID25185475


Workshop: Multi-PI Grants
Presented by James S. Goodwin, MD and others at UTMB

CERCIT Workshop August 2014
Fun with Medicare Part D Data presented by James S. Goodwin, MD

CERCIT Workshop August 2014
Shared Decision Making in Cancer Care presented by Nina Tamirisa, MD

CERCIT Workshop June 2014
The use of surgery in the elderly for management of metastatic epidural spinal cord compression
presented by Justin E. Bird, MD

CERCIT Workshop June 2014
Population-based assessment of breast reconstruction
presented by Ben Smith, MD

Data & Reports

Fact Sheets

Prostate Cancer [PDF]: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing in Men Aged 65 & Older

Mammography [PDF]: Mammography in Women Aged 65 & Older

Colonoscopy [PDF]: Colonoscopy in Adults Aged 65 & Older

Reports and Special Publications

Hispanic Cancer Report [PDF]: From A quarterly publication of the Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) Supplement, Fall 2013, A Comprehensive Report on Cancer among Hispanics in Texas.

CERCIT Featured in the Texas Public Health Journal Summer 2013
Using research to keep Texans informed about cancer care – that is at the heart of CERCIT (Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas). A description of this project and selected articles from its four research areas are featured in the Spring 2013 issue of the Texas Public Health Journal, a quarterly publication of the Texas Public Health Association (pages 22-55):

Just how much does cancer cost in Texas? [PDF] Texas Public Health Journal, Vol 63, Issue 4, Fall 2011. Findings are reported in the Cost of Cancer in Texas, 2005 [PDF] published by the Texas Cancer Council.

Site managed by Sealy Center on Aging • Last Updated September 2015

Manuscript Acknowledgement: This work was supported [in part] by the Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas (CERCIT) Grant #RP140020, funded by The Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).