Irene Orlow, DSc, MS

Attending Biologist & Laboratory Member

Irene Orlow, DSc, MS

Attending Biologist & Laboratory Member
Irene Orlow, Attending Biologist & Laboratory Member

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University of Buenos Aires

Current Research Interests/Research Goals

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 risk and prognosis. She has been particularly involved in skin melanoma research as an active member of the international Genes, Environment, and Melanoma (GEM) since the 2000 as well as of the InterMEL Consortium in more recent years. Among other, these efforts include the study of genetic variants to help distinguish the development of lethal melanoma at the time of diagnosis. She collaborates with Dr. Halpern and other members of the Dermatology Service and Melanoma Disease Management Team (DMT) 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. Other studies involve collaborations in the areas of cancer survivorship and integrative medicine. For instance, with Drs. Ahles and Root, her Lab helps assess the impact of genomic and biochemical markers and exposures on neurocognitive function, and she helps investigate the underlying genetics linked to chemotherapy-induced persistent alopecia in breast cancer survivors. With Dr. Mao, her Lab helps assess the contribution of phenotypic and genetic biomarkers 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. Her laboratory handles biospecimens collections for large epidemiologic studies including, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial, bladder cancer, and melanoma, among others.


Selected peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Ward SV, Autuori I, Luo L, LaPilla E, Yoo S, Sharma A, Busam KJ, Olilla DW, Dwyer T, Anton-Culver H, Zanetti R, Sacchetto L, Cust AE, Gallagher RP, Kanetsky PA, Rosso S, Begg CB, Berwick M, Thomas NE, Orlow I. GEM Study Group. Sex-Specific Associations of MDM2 and MDM4 Variants with Risk of Multiple Primary Melanomas and Melanoma Survival in Non-Hispanic Whites. Cancers (Basel). 2023 May 11;15(10):2707. doi: 10.3390/cancers15102707. PMID: 37345045; PMCID: PMC10216616.
  2. Orlow I, Sadeghi KD, Edmiston SN, Kenney JM, Lezcano C, Wilmott JS, Cust AE, Scolyer RA, Mann GJ, Lee TK, Burke H, Jakrot V, Shang P, Ferguson PM, Boyce TW, Ko JS, Ngo P, Funchain P, Rees JR, O’Connell K, Hao H, Parrish E, Conway K, Googe PB, Ollila DW, Moschos SJ, Hernando E, Hanniford D, Argibay D, Amos CI, Lee JE, Osman I, Luo L, Kuan PF, Aurora A, Gould Rothberg BE, Bosenberg MW, Gerstenblith MR, Thompson C, Bogner PN, Gorlov IP, Holmen SL, Brunsgaard EK, Saenger YM, Shen R, Seshan V, Nagore E, Ernstoff MS, Busam KJ, Begg CB, Thomas NE, Berwick M; InterMEL Consortium. InterMEL: An international biorepository and clinical database to uncover predictors of survival in early-stage melanoma. PLoS One. 2023 Apr 3;18(4):e0269324. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269324. PMID: 37011054; PMCID: PMC10069769.
  3. Ahles TA, Orlow I, Schofield E, Li Y, Ryan E, Root JC, Patel SK, McNeal K, Gaynor A, Tan H, Katheria V, Vazquez J, Corrales-Guerrero S, Sadeghi K, Traina T, Hurria A. The impact of APOE and smoking history on cognitive function in older, long-term breast cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1007/s11764-022-01267-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36279076.
  4. Jain M, Autuori I, Everett N, Harris U, Yamada M, Prow T, Busam K, Marchetti MA, Halpern AC, Orlow I. Minimally invasive microbiopsy for genetic profiling of melanocytic lesions: A case series. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2022 Oct;87(4):903-904. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2021.12.018. Epub 2021 Dec 16. PMID: 34922919; PMCID: PMC9286762.
  5. Gibbs DC, Orlow I, Bramson JI, Kanetsky PA, Luo L, Kricker A, Armstrong BK, Anton-Culver H, Gruber SB, Marrett LD, Gallagher RP, Zanetti R, Rosso S, Dwyer T, Sharma A, La Pilla E, From L, Busam KJ, Cust AE, Ollila DW, Begg CB, Berwick M, Thomas NE; GEM Study Group. Association of Interferon Regulatory Factor-4polymorphism rs12203592 with divergent melanoma pathways. J Natl Cancer Inst.108(7) 1-9, 2016. PMC4948568

View a full listing of Irene Orlow’s journal articles.


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.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

Irene Orlow discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

No disclosures meeting criteria for time period

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