You are here

Katherine Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA

Clinical Assistant Professor of Hematology-Oncology
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO

Current Research

  • Seeking to evaluate risk prediction models in diverse groups of women

  • Insurance and cancer registry data are used to determine the use of and clinical outcomes from risk prediction testing in a racially and economically diverse group of breast cancer patients. 

  • This study will inform best practices and guidelines for risk prediction testing in a diverse population setting.

Hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer is a common but highly treatable form of breast cancer.  Most patients can be cured by surgery and hormonal therapy alone, but some patients benefit with the addition of chemotherapy. Deciding whether to add chemotherapy can be a difficult decision for doctors and patients when the clinical benefit is uncertain.

Gene expression profiling of tumors has emerged as a powerful tool that can provide more personalized estimates of risk and potential benefit from chemotherapy for early stage HR+ breast cancers. Tests such as OncotypeDX® can potentially improve patient selection for chemotherapy, decrease overall use of chemotherapy, and improve cancer outcomes by directing chemotherapy to those women who will benefit, while sparing others the side effects and added costs of chemotherapy.

The true effectiveness of gene expression profiling depends on several factors including assessing breast cancer recurrence and survival in population groups, but population-level outcomes have not been adequately studied.

Dr. Reeder-Hayes is evaluating the population-level effects of OncotypeDX® in a racially and economically diverse group of more than 10,000 women through insurance records and state cancer registry data. Specifically, she is studying which groups of women and providers are using the test, whether adjustments to treatments are made based on test results, and how recurrence and survival are affected by testing.

This study will provide a better understanding of the value of gene expression profiling to providers, patients and the healthcare system, and identify opportunities to improve how the test is used in clinical practice.


Dr. Katherine Reeder-Hayes is an early career physician investigator with a research focus on breast cancer disparities and the comparative effectiveness of cancer treatments in diverse populations. She received her medical training at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and her Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from Auburn University. She completed residency and fellowship training in Medical Oncology at the University of North Carolina under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Carey. In addition to her clinical training as a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer, she has completed research training including a masters’ degree in clinical research from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a post-doctoral research fellowship in comparative effectiveness methods from the nationally known Sheps Center for Health Services Research. She has previously led studies of race and age disparities in the receipt of sentinel lymph node biopsy using SEER-Medicare linked data, racial disparities in endocrine therapy adherence after breast cancer using North Carolina cancer registry data linked to multi-payer insurance claims (ICISS), and comparative effectiveness of alternative imaging strategies in pancreatic cancer using registry-claims linked data. She currently leads a study using SEER-Medicare data to examine the comparative effectiveness of treatments for HER2-positive breast cancer and is a co-investigator of several related studies examining potential interventions to improve endocrine therapy adherence. She is a steering committee member for the North Carolina Integrated Cancer Information Surveillance System (ICISS), a core facility of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center which oversees the storage, linkage and analysis of multiple large data resources for cancer research, and has contributed to the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a nationally regarded prospective cohort study of African American and Caucasian women with breast cancer. She is an active member of the Cancer Outcomes Research Group of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

BCRF Investigator Since


Area(s) of Focus