Skip to Main Content


Cancer Epidemiology

Contact Us

Investigator / Contact Person Paulo Pinheiro, Ph.D.


Immigrant and Minority Health: The Pinheiro lab works to clarify and advance our understanding of racial/ethnic disparities in cancer incidence, survival, and mortality outcomes in the US. By using methodologies and datasets that enable the identification of heterogeneous subgroups within these broad racial/ethnic categories, I have illuminated the intra-ethnic diversity in cancer outcomes within Hispanic, Black, and Asian populations. Providing accurate characterization of diverse outcomes, driven by the unique linguistic, cultural, socioeconomic and migration histories of these subpopulations, is critical for the development of targeted intervention and cancer control strategies all along the cancer continuum.  

Cancer Surveillance Methodology: In recognition of the power of population-based cancer epidemiology to inform and shape cancer control health programs and policies as well as to stimulate focused etiologic research, the Pinheiro lab strives to advance the methodology used to ensure accuracy in cancer surveillance. The lab’s approach utilizes rigorous analyses, from the explicit selection of population-based datasets that best enable the examination of a given research question to the meticulous scrutiny of often-ignored issues which commonly account for substantial error including exclusion of non-random missing data and overlooked differential misclassification of ethnic group in survival analysis. Research pursued in this lab consistently points to such biases and shows that (1) missing cases (e.g., Not Otherwise Specified) significantly affect incidence and survival studies, and (2) the survival statistics for foreign-born populations when relying on passive follow-up methods are inflated. The Pinheiro lab proposes novel and creative approaches to remedy these issues.

 Evidence of Tumoral and Social-Demographic Prognostic Factors for Cancer: The Pinheiro lab contributes significantly towards understanding the specific determinants for survival of certain cancers, substantiating findings from other studies, but also adding novel insights, via evidence from descriptive epidemiology. The lab explores significant risk and protective factors regarding gastric cancer, cardia sublocation, lung cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer.