2015 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
2012 Masters of Science (M.S.), Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
2006 Masters of Arts (M.A.), Secondary Education, College of Human Resources and Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
2004 Bachelors of Science (B.S.), Psychology, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
Dr. LeMasters research interests lie within the fields of pharmacoepidemiology, health services, and outcomes research. Her topics of study have included cancer risk, prevention, treatment patterns, and survival outcomes, including survival analysis and health related quality of life (HRQoL). Her research has been heavily focused on these issues as they pertain to breast cancer, and more recently, the relationship between mammography screening, guideline recommendations, and the risk for false-positives.
LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U. Comparison of the Initial Loco-Regional Treatment Received for Early-Stage Breast Cancer between Elderly Women in Appalachia and a United States – Based Population: Good and Bad News. Global Journal of Breast Cancer Research. Accepted December, 2015.
LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Atkins E, Vyas A, Remick S, Vona-Davis L. “Don’t Know” and accuracy of breast cancer risk perceptions among Appalachian women attending a mobile mammography program: implications for educational interventions and patient empowerment. Journal of Cancer Education. 2014; 29(4): 669 - 679.
LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Kurian S. A Population-Based study Comparing Health Conditions and Health Behaviors among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors to Propensity Score Matched Controls, by Cancer Type, and Gender. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2014; 8(3): 336 - 348.
LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Kurian S. A Population-Based study Comparing HRQoL among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors to Propensity Score Matched Controls, by Cancer Type, and Gender. Psychooncology. 2013; April 19. doi: 10.1002/pon.3288. Epub ahead of print.
LeMasters T. Book Review of Pharmacoepidemiology 5th Ed. By Brian L. Strom, Stephen E. Kimmel, and Sean Hennessy. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy. 2012; 8: 484 - 485.
LeMasters T & Sambamoorthi U. A National Study of Out-of-Pocket Expenditures for Mammography Screening. Journal of Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011; 20(12): 1775 - 1783
About Traci LeMasters
A. Personal Statement
My initial educational background is grounded in behavioral psychology and secondary education and has proven valuable to my current profession. My most recent and extensive training is in the field of health economics, services, and outcomes research. During my training my area of research has been mainly focused in area of breast cancer risk, screening, treatment, survival, and survivorship, using primary survey data collected from participants of the Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Program in West Virginia (WV) and large secondary data resources including the WV Cancer Registry-Medicare and the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked databases, as well as, data from the Behavioral Risk Factor System Surveillance (BRFSS) Survey and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Through my research I have gained understanding of the importance of routine mammography screening on early-stage breast cancer diagnosis and the relationship between screening, the incidence of false-positive mammography results, and differential recommended screening guidelines. Additionally, I have an understanding that the traumatic experience of a false-positive can affects a woman’s future mammography screening behavior, and that populations with low health literacy, hold a fear of physicians and fatalistic mentality towards cancer may be particular sensitive to this experience. I am experienced in data management, statistical analysis, and scientific writing, thus my training spans the continuum of research design to publication.
I have worked on projects involving multiple team members and understand the importance of communicating ideas, responsibilities, and project status. In my current position, I continue to work with and am supervised by my long-term mentors who have a proven track-record of grant funded research and publications.
B. Positions and Memberships
Positions and Employment
2015-Present Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
2010-2013 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
2008-2010 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
2015-Present Member, West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute
2012-Present Member, Rho Chi National Pharmacy Honor Society
2008-Present Member, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)
C. Contribution to Science
1. Out-of-Pocket Mammography Expenditures: Routine mammography screening according to recommended
guidelines is a preventive behavior important for detecting breast cancer at an early-stage when it is most
treatable. Sustaining preventive health behaviors may be challenging for individuals as the direct and indirect
costs of such behaviors as the benefit of such behaviors is often not immediately realized. Out-of-pocket
expenditure for preventive healthcare services such as mammography screening is one such direct cost to the
patient that have the potential to deter routine screening. This study examined variations in out-of-pocket
expenditure across different populations and settings throughout the US. The average out-of-pocket
expenditure for all women was $33, while the average total expenditure from all payers was $266. Women who
were uninsured, lived in the Midwest region of the US, or received screening from an office-based center had
higher expenditures, than women who were insured by any type of insurance, lived in other regions of the US,
or received screening at an outpatient hospital setting. This was the first study of its kind to identify
out-of-pocket expenditures for mammography screening and how they vary according to patient
characteristics. It has been described press releases in several health-related news publications. I served as
the primary investigator for this study.
a. LeMasters T. & Sambamoorthi U. (2011). A National Study of Out-of-Pocket Expenditures for Mammography Screening. Journal of Womens Health (Larchmt). 20(12): 1775–1783.
2. Breast Cancer Screening among Women Attending Mobile Mammography Services in WV: Rates of
mammography screening in WV have been historically low, resulting in higher incidence of later stage breast
cancer diagnosis. To address the problem, the staff of the Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography
Program travels the state of WV providing on-site mammograms to women in areas with historically low rates
of screening. This series of studies document important characteristics of women attending mobile
mammography services, such as their low breast cancer knowledge, inaccurate breast cancer risk perceptions,
high rates of obesity, history of non-adherence mammography screening, all of which are areas to target for
educational and behavioral intervention among this population. Findings from these studies provide the basis
for such interventions. I served as a primary investigator and co-author for these publications, and assisted in
data entry and construction of the dataset for the project.
a. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Atkins E, Vyas A, Remick S, Vona-Davis L. (2014). “Don’t Know” and accuracy of breast cancer risk perceptions among Appalachian women attending a mobile mammography program: implications for educational interventions and patient empowerment. Journal of Cancer Education. 29(4): 669–679.
b. Atkins E, Madhavan S, LeMasters T, Vyas A, Gainor S, Remick S. (2013). Are Obese Women More Likely to Participate in a Mobile Mammography Program? J Community Health. 38(2): 338–348.
c. Vyas A, Madhavan S, LeMasters T, Atkins E, Gainor S, Kennedy S, Kelly K, Vona-Davis L, Remick S. (2012). Factors influencing adherence to mammography screening guidelines in Appalachian women participating in a mobile mammography program. J Community Health. 37(3): 632–646.
3. HRQoL & Health Status and Health Behaviors of Prostate, Breast, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors:
Differences by Gender and Cancer Type: Surgical and adjuvant cancer treatments can have late and
long-lasting adverse effects on various domains of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for many cancer
survivors. Additionally, obesity rates are high among survivors prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer, and
while guidelines have been put forth by the American Cancer Society for health behaviors and preventive
healthcare, it is uncertain how cancer survivors may differ individuals without a history of cancer and from one
another in aspects of HRQoL, health status, and health behaviors. These studies demonstrated that breast,
prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors report greater activity limitations and worse perceived general health
than similarly matched individuals without a history of cancer, and are more likely to do so after 5 years. Breast
and prostate cancer survivors (hormone and gender specific cancers) had a greater prevalence of obesity
related conditions, but had better clinical preventive care behaviors than controls, while colorectal cancer
survivors engaged in less physical activity. Within cancer survivor comparisons, demonstrated that female
survivors were more likely to maintain a healthy weight and eat healthy, while males were more likely to
consume alcohol. Compared to prostate cancer survivors, male colorectal cancer survivors reported worse
outcomes across multiple domains of HRQoL, while female cancer survivors reported worse outcomes in
domains of emotional well-being, mental well-being, and sleep than male survivors. Together these study
findings demonstrated a patterns of differences in health status, health behaviors, and HRQoL between
survivors of gender-specific, gender-neutral cancers, and individuals without a history of cancer, and
between-gender cancer survivors differences. I was the primary investigator on these studies.
a. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Kurian S. (2014). A Population-Based study Comparing Health Conditions and Health Behaviors Among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors to Propensity Score Matched Controls, by Cancer Type, and Gender. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 8(3): 336–348.
b. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Kurian S. (2013). A Population-Based study Comparing HRQoL among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors to Propensity Score Matched Controls, by Cancer Type, and Gender. Psychooncology. 22(10): 2270–2282.
4. Undertreatment of Breast Cancer among elderly women and treatment differences between elderly breast
cancer patients in WV and a US-based population: Although 60% of incident breast cancer cases occur in
women age > 65 years, current guidelines allow for conditional or discretional omission of adjuvant radiation
therapy (RT) and chemotherapy in women age > 70 years. Older women are at risk for undertreatment, with
age and comorbidity being the strongest predictors of treatment, irrespective of clinical indications. Moreover,
the population of WV is characterized by high rates of older age, chronic disease, disability, rurality, medically
underserved regions, poverty, and low levels of education, factors all associated with treatment disparities. A
series of studies was conducted examining patterns of initial local treatment among women age > 66 years
with early-stage breast cancer and treatment according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network
guidelines, i.e. guideline-concordant care (GCC) among women with stage I-III breast cancer using a
US-based population using SEER-Medicare data and between older women in WV and a US-based population
using West Virginia Cancer Registry (WVCR)-Medicare and SEER-Medicare data. This series of studies
demonstrated that only 35% of older US-based breast cancer patients receive GCC, and how various factors
are associated with GCC. Women age > 70 years were also less likely to receive various individual tests and
treatments, compared to women age 66-69 years. Among older women with early-stage breast cancer 55%
received BCS+RT, 23% mastectomy, and 22% BCS only as their first treatment for early-stage breast cancer,
with document associations with type of treatment. Compared to US-based estimates, older women received
GCC less often (25%), and were less likely to receive various types of tests and treatments. However, among
early-stage breast cancer patients, women in WV were less likely to have mastectomy or BCS only, women
from US-based populations. This is the first study to examine comprehensive receipt of GCC and make
comparisons between WV and US-based older breast cancer populations. I was the primary investigator on all
a. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Hazard H, Kelly K, Long D. Receipt of Guideline-Concordant Care among Older Women with Stage I-III Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study. Under review at the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
b. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U, Vyas A. Room for Improvement in the Initial Local Treatment of Older Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study. To be submitted to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
c. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorthi U. Comparison of Initial Local Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer between Medicare Beneficiaries in a Medically Underserved, Appalachian State and a US-Based Population: Good and Bad News. Accepted for publication, December 2015, Global Journal of Breast Cancer Research.
d. LeMasters T, Madhavan S, Sambamoorhi U, Hazard H. A Comparison of Guideline-Concordant Care and Specific Tests and Treatments Received for Stage I-III Breast Cancer in Older Women between WV vs. US-Based Population. Under review at the WV Medical Journal.
D. Research Support
Completed Research Support
1 R24 HS018622-03 August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2013 PI: S. Suresh Madhavan
Title: West Virginia CoHORTS Center
The goal of this project was to identify and decrease cancer disparities by conducting studies of prevention and screening behaviors; cancer diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes; patterns and quality of care; and, economic burden of cancer in WV, using West Virginia Cancer Registry-Medicare and SEER-Medicare linked data.
Role: Graduate Research Assistant (served as lead author on multiple manuscripts, participated in data management, analyses, study design, and manuscript writing and publication).
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation August 15, 2010 to August 14, 2012 PI: S. Suresh Madhavan
Title: Evaluation of Bonnie’s Bus Mobile Mammography Screening program
The goal of the project was to describe the population of women attending the program, in terms of demographics and past mammography screening behaviors, assess the return rate, and conduct research studies utilizing survey data from women participating in the Bonnie’s Bus Mammography Screening and Preventive Care Survey.
Role: Graduate Research Assistant (entered data and managed data, conducted analysis and constructed presentations for program progress reports, served as lead and supporting author in multiple published studies).
AHRQ grant 1P20HS15930-02 June1, 2007 to May 31, 2010 PI: S. Suresh Madhavan
Title: Building the West Virginia CoHORTS Center
The goal of the project was to develop research infrastructure and increase capacity to conduct federally funded multi-disciplinary health services and outcomes research activities at WVU Health Sciences Center that will focus on reducing health disparities and improve the overall health of West Virginia citizens.
Role: Graduate Research Assistant