Research Professor, Epidemiology
Adjunct Research Professor, Medicine
Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
EducationMD Internal Medicine, New York Medical College, 1989
PhD Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1982
BA Sociology, Boston University, 1974
1100 Fairview Ave N., M4-B874
PO Box 19024
Seattle, WA 98109
FHCRC Faculty Homepage - research projects
Dr. McTiernan's research focuses on identifying ways to prevent new or recurrent cancer with a particular focus on weight control, physical activity, and chemoprevention.
Dr. McTiernan is Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded 1-year randomized controlled clinical trial that tested dietary weight loss, exercise, and both vs. controls on breast cancer biomarkers in 439 postmenopausal women. With additional NIH funding, ancillary studies are testing the effects of these interventions on telomere length, oxidative stress, ghrelin, adipose tissue biology, long-term weight maintenance, and behaviors predicting weight loss. She is Principal Investigator of the Seattle site of the NCI-funded Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) cohort, which is assessing associations of anthropometrics, body composition, hormones, diet, and physical activity with breast cancer prognosis. Dr. McTiernan is Principal Investigator of the Seattle site of the NCIC (Canada) ExCel trial which tested the effect of exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor, on breast cancer prevention. She is also Principal Investigator of the Komen-funded ViDA randomized controlled trial which is testing the effects of vitamin D vs. placebo on weight and breast cancer biomarkers in women undergoing a weight loss program.
Previously she has conducted a randomized trial of a one-year aerobic exercise intervention vs. control in 173 postmenopausal women to assess the effect of exercise on breast cancer biomarkers including sex hormones. Ancillary studies tested the effect of aerobic exercise on immune function and other biomarkers of breast cancer risk. She was Principal Investigator of the NCI-funded U54 grant (Seattle TREC Center) investigating mechanisms of energy balance and cancer prevention which included 5 projects and 5 supporting administrative cores. She led a randomized clinical trial testing aspirin effect on breast cancer biomarkers. She was Principal Investigator of a randomized trial to test the effect of a one-year aerobic exercise intervention vs. control on colorectal cell proliferation, apoptosis, and prostaglandin content, and on other biomarkers of colon cancer risk in 200 men and women. Dr. McTiernan was a co-Investigator in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), and directed clinical outcomes efforts at the WHI Clinical Coordinating Center.
Dr. McTiernan was a member of the 2008 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Since 2010 she has been a Komen Scholar, and in 2012 she received a Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine for her research contributions on physical activity and health.
In The News
New pathway linking diet and cancer risk
In House, 02/09/2017
Nutrition Doc’s Memoir Tells of Struggles with Food, Family
UW School of Public Health News, 12/23/2016
How much exercise do you need to prevent heart disease, cancer?