James Dignam, PhD


  • Multi-center cancer clinical trial design and conduct. Deputy Group Statistician for the NRG Oncology National Clinical Trials Network Group 
  • Influence of racial/ethnic background and lifestyle factors on cancer prognosis
  • Competing risks and multiple endpoints in survival analysis


  • Ph.D. (biostatistics), 1994 University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S. (biostatistics), 1990 University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., (mathematics), 1986 Saint Xavier College



  • Zhang Q, Freidlin B, Korn EL, Halabi S, Mandrekar S, Dignam JJ. Comparison of futility monitoring guidelines using completed oncology trials. Clinical Trials, 14:48-58, 2017.
  • Lee M, Dignam JJ, Han J. Multiple imputation methods for nonparametric inference on cumulative incidence with missing cause of failure. Statistics in Medicine, 33:4605-4626 2014.
  • Dignam JJ, Zhang Q, Kocherginsky MN. The use and interpretation of competing risks regression models. Clinical Cancer Research, 18:2301-2308, 2012.
  • Wang M, Dignam JJ, Zhang QE, DeGroot JF, Mehta MP, Hunsberger S. Design of a phase II/III transition trial for malignant glioma: A case study. Clinical Trials 9:741-747, 2012.
  • Dignam JJ, Huang L, Ries L, Reichman M, Mariotto A, Feuer E. Estimating breast cancer-specific and other cause mortality in clinical trial and population-based cancer registry data. Cancer, 115:5272-5283, 2009.
  • Dignam JJ, Kocherginsky M. Choice and interpretation of statistical tests used when competing risks are present. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 26:4027-4034, 2008.
  • Bouman P, Meng XL, Dignam J, Dukic V. A multiresolution hazard model for multicenter survival studies: Application to tamoxifen treatment in early stage breast cancer. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 102:1145-1157, 2007.
  • Dukic V, Dignam JJ, Bayesian hierarchical multiresolution model for the study of time-dependent patterns of failure in early stage breast cancer. Bayesian Analysis 2:591-610, 2007.
  • Dignam JJ, Wieand K, Rathouz PJ. A missing data approach to semi-competing risks problems. Statistics in Medicine 26:837-856, 2007.
  • Dignam JJ. Early viewing of noninferiority trials in progress (editorial). Journal of Clinical Oncology 23:5461-5463, 2005.
  • Dignam JJ, Bryant J, Wieand HS. “Early Stopping of Cancer Clinical Trials”. In Handbook of Statistics in Clinical Oncology: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, edited by J. Crowley and D. Pauler Ankerst. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, 2005, pp. 227-246.
  • Bryant J, Dignam JJ. Semiparametric models for cumulative incidence functions. Biometrics, 60:182-190, 2004.
  • Dignam JJ, Bryant J, Wieand HS. “Analysis of Cause-Specific Events in Competing Risks Survival Data”. In Handbook of Statistics: Volume 23: Advances in Survival Analysis, edited by C.R. Rao and N. Balakrishnan. North-Holland, Amsterdam. 2004, pp. 313-329.
  • Dignam JJ, Weissfeld LA, Anderson SJ. Methods for bounding the marginal survival distribution. Statistics in Medicine, 14:1985-1998, 1995.

Race/Ethnicity and Cancer Outcomes

  • Polite BN, Cipriano-Steffens T, Hlubocky F, Dignam J, Ray M, Smith D, et al. An Evaluation of Psychosocial and Religious Belief Differences in a Diverse Racial and Socioeconomic Urban Cancer Population. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 4(2):140-148, 2017.
  • Huo N, Hong S, Wang W, Olopade O, Dignam JJ, Huo D. Hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer: heterogeneous risks by race, weight, and breast density. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 105:1365-1372, 2013.
  • Yothers G, Sargent D, Wolmark N, Goldberg RM, O’Connell M, Benedetti J, Saltz L, Dignam JJ, Blackstock AW. Outcomes among black patients with stage II/III colon cancer receiving chemotherapy: An ACCENT analysis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 103:1498-1506, 2011.
  • Dignam JJ. The ongoing search for sources of the breast cancer survival disparity (editorial). Journal of Clinical Oncology, 24:1326-1328, 2006.
  • Polite BN, Dignam JJ, Olopade OI. Colorectal cancer model of health disparities: Understanding mortality differences in minority populations.  Journal of Clinical Oncology 24:2179-2187, 2006.
  • Mandelblatt JS, Schechter CB, Yabroff KR, Lawrence W, Dignam JJ, et al. Benefits and costs of interventions to improve breast cancer outcomes in African-American women. Journal of Clinical Oncology 22:2554-2566, 2004.
  • Dignam JJ, Ye Y, Colangelo L, Smith R, et al. Prognosis after rectal cancer in Blacks and Whites participating in adjuvant therapy randomized trials. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21:413-420, 2003.
  • Dignam JJ. Efficacy of systematic adjuvant therapy for breast cancer in African-American and Caucasian women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, 30:36-43, 2001.
  • Dignam JJ, Colangelo L, Tian W, Jones J, et al. Outcomes among African-Americans and Caucasians in colon cancer adjuvant therapy trials: Findings from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 91:1933-40, 1999.

Obesity and Cancer Outcomes

  • Griggs J, Anderson H, Balaban EP, Dignam JJ, Hryniuk W, Mangu P, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guideline on appropriate chemotherapy dosing for obese adult patients with cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30:1553-1561, 2012.
  • Dignam JJ, Polite B, Yothers G, Raich P, Colangelo L, O’Connell M, Wolmark N. Body mass index and outcomes in patients who receive adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 98:1647-1654, 2006.
  • Dignam JJ, Wieand K, Johnson K, Raich P, Anderson SJ, Somkin C, Wickerham DL. Effects of obesity and race on prognosis in lymph node-negative, estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 97:245-254, 2006.
  • Dignam JJ, Mamounas EP. Obesity and breast cancer prognosis: An expanding body of evidence (editorial). Annals of Oncology, 15:850-851, 2004.
  • Dignam JJ, Wieand K, Johnson KA, Fisher B, Xu L, Mamounas EP. Obesity, tamoxifen use, and outcomes in women with estrogen receptor positive early breast cancer. Journal of The National Cancer Institute, 95:1467-1476, 2003.

Cancer Clinical Research

  • Lee WR, Dignam JJ, Amin MB, Bruner DW, Low D, et al. A randomized phase III non-inferiority study comparing two radiation therapy fractionation schedules in patients with low-risk prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology 34:2325-2332, 2016.
  • Gilbert M, Dignam JJ, Armstrong TS, et al. A randomized clinical trial of bevacizumab for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. New England Journal of Medicine, 370:699-708, 2014.
  • Labby ZE, Armato SG 3rd, Dignam JJ, Straus C, Kindler HL, Nowak AK. Lung volume measurements as a surrogate marker for patient response in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 8:478-486, 2013.
  • Lawrence YR, Vikram B, Dignam JJ, Chakravarti A, Machtay M, Freidlin B, et al. NCI-RTOG translational program strategic guidelines for the early-stage development of radiosensitizers. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 105:11-24, 2013.
  • Wapnir IL, Dignam JJ, Fisher B et al. Long-term outcomes of invasive ipsilateral breast tumor recurrences after lumpectomy in NSABP B-17 and B-24 randomized clinical trials for DCIS. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 103:478-88, 2011.
  • Chung CH, Dignam JJ, Hammond ME, et al. Glioma-associated oncogene family zinc finger 1 expression and metastasis in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated with radiation therapy (RTOG 9003). Journal of Clinical Oncology 29:1326-34, 2011.
  • Dignam JJ, Dukic V, Anderson SJ, Mamounas EP, Wickerham DL, Wolmark N. Hazard of recurrence and adjuvant treatment effects over time in lymph node-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 116:595-602, 2009.
  • Wei MJ, Grushko TA, Dignam J, Hagos FG, et al. BRCA1 promoter methylation in sporadic breast cancer is associated with reduced BRCA1 copy number and chromosome 17 aneusomy. Cancer Research 65:10692-10699, 2005.
  • Dignam JJ. The role of Cancer Cooperative Groups within the spectrum of cancer care. Cancer Control, 11:55-63, 2004.
  • Habel LA, Dignam JJ, Land SR, Salane M, Capra AM, Julian T. Mammographic density and risk of invasive cancer after DCIS. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 96:1467-72, 2004.
  • Fisher B, Dignam JJ, Bryant J, Wolmark N. Five versus more than five years of tamoxifen for lymph node-negative breast cancer: Updated findings from the NSABP B-14 randomized trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 93:684-690, 2001.
  • Fisher B, Dignam JJ, Wolmark N, et al. Tamoxifen in treatment of intraductal breast cancer: National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project B-24 randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 353:1993-2000, 1999.



  • PBHS 32100 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • PBHS 32400 - Applied Regression Analysis
  • PBHS 32901 – Introduction to Clinical Trials
  • PBHS 33100 - Applied Survival Analysis