Photo of Larissa J. Lee,  MD

Larissa J. Lee, MD

Brigham And Women's Hospital

Brigham And Women's Hospital
Phone: (617) 732-6331
Fax: (617) 278-6988

Larissa J. Lee, MD

Brigham And Women's Hospital


  • Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
  • Physician, Radiation Oncology, Brigham And Women's Hospital


Research Abstract

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. Although the annual incidence rate is slightly lower in African Americans compared to Caucasians, the mortality rate is nearly twice as high. Although racial differences in health care access and delivery have been reported, socioeconomic inequalities only partially account for the poor survival rates. In cooperative group studies of advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer, African Americans have a 25% higher mortality rate, independent of performance status, disease stage, histology and chemotherapy regimen.

Biological differences may underlie the significant racial disparity in the survival of African American women with endometrial cancer. Population-based studies have shown that black women are more likely to be diagnosed with high-grade tumors and advanced stage disease. Non-endometrioid tumors, such as uterine papillary serous (UPSC) or clear cell carcinoma, account for a higher proportion of endometrial cancer deaths among African Americans. Although histologically similar to ovarian serous carcinoma, UPSC is not as sensitive to chemotherapy as first-line treatment or at the time of relapse. Nevertheless, the molecular underpinnings of UPSC may be similar to serous ovarian cancer given their shared M端llerian phenotype. The Cancer Genome Atlas demonstrated widespread copy alterations and p53 mutations in ovarian serous tumors, and others have shown low frequency somatic mutations in over 50% of serous tumors. The goal of our project is to perform high-throughput genomic analysis of UPSC in African American and Caucasian patients to develop a better molecular understanding of this disease, as well as identify potential differences that might explain the disparities in survival by race. We hope the identification of distinct molecular profiles may inform decisions regarding adjuvant therapy for UPSC, and lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets.



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  • Damato AL, Lee LJ, Bhagwat MS, Buzurovic I, Cormack RA, Finucane S, Hansen JL, O'Farrell DA, Offiong A, Randall U, Friesen S, Viswanathan AN. Redesign of process map to increase efficiency: Reducing procedure time in cervical cancer brachytherapy. Brachytherapy 2015. PubMed
  • Damato AL, Townamchai K, Albert M, Bair RJ, Cormack RA, Jang J, Kovacs A, Lee LJ, Mak KS, Mirabeau-Beale KL, Mouw KW, Phillips JG, Pretz JL, Russo AL, Lewis JH, Viswanathan AN. Dosimetric consequences of interobserver variability in delineating the organs at risk in gynecologic interstitial brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2014; 89:674-81. PubMed
  • Tung N, Gaughan E, Hacker MR, Lee LJ, Alexander B, Poles E, Schnitt SJ, Garber JE. Outcome of triple negative breast cancer: comparison of sporadic and BRCA1-associated cancers. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2014. PubMed
  • Lalwani N, Dubinsky T, Javitt MC, Gaffney DK, Glanc P, Elshaikh MA, Kim YB, Lee LJ, Pannu HK, Royal HD, Shipp TD, Siegel CL, Simpson L, Wahl AO, Wolfson AH, Zelop CM. ACR Appropriateness Criteria速 Pretreatment Evaluation and Follow-Up of Endometrial Cancer. Ultrasound Q 2014; 30:21-8. PubMed
  • Lee LJ, Demaria R, Berkowitz R, Matulonis U, Viswanathan AN. Clinical predictors of long-term survival for stage IVB uterine papillary serous carcinoma confined to the abdomen. Gynecol Oncol 2014; 132:65-9. PubMed
  • Lee LJ, Ratner E, Uduman M, Winter K, Boeke M, Greven KM, King S, Burke TW, Underhill K, Kim H, Boulware RJ, Yu H, Parkash V, Lu L, Gaffney D, Dicker AP, Weidhaas J. The KRAS-Variant and miRNA Expression in RTOG Endometrial Cancer Clinical Trials 9708 and 9905. PLoS ONE 2014; 9:e94167. PubMed
  • Lee LJ, Damato AL, Viswanathan AN. Clinical outcomes following 3D image-guided brachytherapy for vaginal recurrence of endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol 2013; 131:586-92. PubMed
  • Lee LJ, Jhingran A, Kidd E, Cardenes HR, Elshaikh MA, Erickson B, Mayr NA, Moore D, Puthawala AA, Rao GG, Small W, Varia MA, Wahl AO, Wolfson AH, Yashar CM, Yuh W, Gaffney DK. Acr appropriateness Criteria management of vaginal cancer. Oncology (Huntingt) 2014; 27:1166-73. PubMed
  • Lee LJ, Viswanathan AN. Predictors of toxicity after image-guided high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy for gynecologic cancer Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2012.
  • Townamchai K, Poorvu PD, Damato AL, DeMaria R, Lee LJ, Berlin S, Feltmate C, Viswanathan AN. Radiation dose escalation using intensity modulated radiation therapy for gross unresected node-positive endometrial cancer. 2014; 4:90-8. PubMed