Helena Furberg, PhD, MSPH

Associate Attending Epidemiologist

Helena Furberg, PhD, MSPH

Associate Attending Epidemiologist
Helena Furberg, Associate Attending Epidemiologist

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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Current Research Interests

Dr. Helena Furberg is a molecular cancer epidemiologist dedicated to identifying modifiable exposures that are associated with urologic cancer risk and prognosis. She has established large-scale cohort studies that investigate how biochemically-verified nicotine exposure impacts recurrence risk among non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients (funded through the American Cancer Society), and how body composition features influence clinical outcomes among clear cell renal cell cancer patients (funded by the National Cancer Institute). She actively engages in collaborations with physician-scientists to investigate the molecular underpinnings of the obesity paradox in kidney cancer, as well as identifying transcriptomic subtypes of bladder cancer. Dr. Furberg received her master’s and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed post-doctoral fellowships in Genetics and in Molecular Epidemiology at UNC and Mt. Sinai Cancer Center, respectively.


Selected peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Olsson LT, Eberle CE, Petruzella S, Robinson WR, Furberg H. A comparison of analytic approaches for investigating the obesity paradox in kidney cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2023 Apr;34(4):361-370. doi: 10.1007/s10552-023-01670-6. Epub 2023 Feb 14. PMID: 36786871; PMCID: PMC10448500.
  2. Ged Y, Sanchez A, Patil S, Knezevic A, Stein E, Petruzella S, Weiss K, Duzgol C, Chaim J, Akin O, Mourtzakis M, Paris MT, Scott J, Kuo F, Kotecha R, Hakimi AA, Lee CH, Motzer RJ, Voss MH, Furberg H. Associations between Pretreatment Body Composition Features and Clinical Outcomes among Patients with Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated with Immune Checkpoint Blockade. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Dec 1;28(23):5180-5189. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-1389. PMID: 36190538; PMCID: PMC9793646.
  3. Sanchez A*, Furberg H*, Kuo F, Vuong L, Ged Y, Patil S, Ostrovnaya I, Petruzella S, Reising A, Patel P, Mano R, Coleman J, Russo P, Liu CH, Dannenberg AJ, Chan TA, Motzer R, Voss MH, Hakimi AA. Transcriptomic signatures related to the obesity paradox in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma: a cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2020 Feb;21(2):283-293. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30797-1. Epub 2019 Dec 20. PMID: 31870811; PMCID: PMC7082892.  * co-first authors
  4. Furberg H, Petruzella S, Whiting K, Stein E, Orlow I, Kenney J, Corrales-Guerrero S, Benfante N, Cha EK, Donahue TF, Donat SM, Herr HW, Matulewicz RS, Pietzak E, Dalbagni G, Ostroff J, Bochner BH. Association of Biochemically Verified Post-Diagnosis Smoking and Nonmuscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer Recurrence Risk. J Urol. 2022 Jun;207(6):1200-1206. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002449. Epub 2022 Jan 27. PMID: 35084998; PMCID: PMC9472323.
  5. Petruzella S, Bochner BH, Kenney J, Whiting K, Sadeghi K, Benfante N, Cha EK, Dalbagni G, Donahue T, Donat SM, Herr HW, Pietzak E, Orlow I, Ostroff JS, Furberg H. Examining the Accuracy of Self-Reported Smoking-Related Exposure among Recently Diagnosed Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Patients. J Urol. 2021 May;205(5):1321-1325. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000001571. Epub 2020 Dec 24. PMID: 33356484; PMCID: PMC9262154.

View a full listing of Helena Furberg’s journal articles.


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Helena Furberg discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

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