Dr. Orlow directs the Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. Her research interests include the study of host and tumor genetics, phenotypic characteristics, and exposures that modulate cancer prognosis in patients with skin melanoma, breast, lung and other types of cancer. In the area of melanoma, since the year 2000 she is a member of the international Genes, Environment, and Melanoma (GEM). Study group, and in more recent years of the InterMEL Consortium. Among other efforts in melanoma, studies within GEM include research of genetic variants to help distinguish —at diagnosis— lethal melanoma. She collaborates with members of the Dermatology Service to evaluate the effect of genetics, phenotypic characteristics, and exposures to further the knowledge of the biology and epidemiology of nevi —a known risk factor for melanoma, and the underlying genetic risk factors for chemotherapy-induced persistent alopecia. With Drs. Ahles and Root, she is assessing the impact of genomic and biochemical markers and exposures on neurocognitive function in survivors of breast cancer. With Dr. Mao, she is assessing phenotypic and genetic biomarkers linked to the efficacy of interventions in cancer patients.
With her lab team, Dr. Orlow supports additional multidisciplinary investigations in the areas of cancer etiology, prognosis and survivorship, as well as a study that evaluates genetic determinants of COVID-19 severity. Her laboratory handles biospecimens collections for large epidemiologic studies including, among others, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial, and bladder cancer, as well as melanoma.
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
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Irene Orlow discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
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