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Mara A. Schonberg, MD, MPH

Research Concentrations

• Patient Decisionmaking
• Women's Health
• Gerontology

Contact Information

Email: mschonbe@bidmc.harvard.edu    

Professional Biography

View Dr. Schonberg's  Biosketch (PDF)

View Dr. Schonberg's publication history at PubMed Author Search

View Dr. Schonberg's professional research networking profile at Harvard Catalyst

Dr. Schonberg’s research focuses on improving the quality and outcomes of older women’s decision-making around breast cancer screening and treatment. High quality decision-making around mammography screening for older women requires consideration of their life expectancy, breast cancer risk, and preferences. Much of Dr. Schonberg’s work has aimed to better understand each of these key factors in older women’s screening decisions. To help clinicians and patients estimate life expectancy, she developed and validated an index to predict mortality within 10 years for older adults. This index was featured in a JAMA systematic review and is available at www.eprognosis.org where it has been accessed thousands of times. Working with colleagues at the University of California San Francisco, she also developed a free mobile application to help patients and clinicians consider patient life expectancy in cancer screening decisions (ePrognosis: Cancer Screening). To better understand late-life risk factors for breast cancer, with support from an NIA R01, she developed a model to estimate 5-year risk of post-menopausal breast cancer risk that takes into account women’s health behaviors and competing mortality risks. She has also developed a promising decision aid to help women >75 years with decision-making around mammography screening and is testing the efficacy of this decision aid in a large cluster randomized controlled trial as part of an NCI R01. In recognition of her work, in 2016, Dr. Schonberg received the American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award and in 2015 she received the Clinician Investigator of the Year Award from the New England Region of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Current Research Support

2013-2017 (NCE)

Breast Cancer Risk Factors Among Women Aged 75 and Older
National Institute on Aging (NIA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)
1R01AG041869

2014-2019

Randomized Trial of a Mammography Decision Aid for Women Aged 75 and Older
National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)
1R01CA181357 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1.  Schonberg MA, Silliman RA, Marcantonio ER. Weighing the Benefits and Burdens of Mammography Screening Among Women aged 80 and Older. J Clin Oncol 2009; 27(11): 1774-1780.
  2. Schonberg MA, Davis RB, McCarthy EP, Marcantonio ER.  Validation of an index to predict up to 9-year mortality of community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older.  J Am Geriatr Soc 2011; 59(8):1444-1451.
  3.  Schonberg MA, Marcantonio ER, Li D, Silliman RA, Ngo LH, McCarthy EP.  Breast cancer among the oldest-old: tumor characteristics, treatment choices, and survival. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28(12):2038-2045.
  4. Schonberg MA, Hamel MB, Davis RB, Griggs MC, Wee CC, Fagerlin A, Marcantonio, ER.  Development and evaluation of a decision aid on mammography screening for women aged 75 and older.  JAMA Int Med 2014; 174(3):417-424.
  5. Schonberg MA, Li VW, Eliassen AH, Davis RB, LaCroix AZ, McCarthy EP, Rosner BA, Chlebowski RT,  Hankinson SE, Marcantonio ER, Ngo LH. Accounting for individualized competing mortality risks in estimating postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2016; 160(3): 547-562.