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Scott B. Cantor, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Health Services Research, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Adjunct Professor, Division of Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Adjunct Professor, Department of Statistics, Rice University, Houston, TX
Associate Member, Program in Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Scott B. Cantor, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Health Services Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has adjunct appointments and taught courses and guest lectures in the Department of Statistics at Rice University and the Division of Biostatistics at The University of Texas School of Public Health.

Scott is a clinical decision analyst, having received his bachelor's degree from Yale in Applied Mathematics and his doctorate from Harvard in Decision Sciences. From 2003-2004, he was President of the Society for Medical Decision Making, a professional society dedicated to promoting rational and systematic approaches to decision making that will improve the health and clinical care of individuals and assist health policy formation.

Dr. Cantor's research focuses on theoretical issues concerning cost-effectiveness analysis and diagnostic testing, and on clinical issues in cancer prevention, particularly prostate cancer screening and cervical pre-cancer diagnosis.

When not in the office, Dr. Cantor enjoys spending time with his family and playing the piano. He also loves to sing -- he was a finalist in the recent Anderson Idol Talent Shows. Jump to the 7:30 mark to view his performance in the 2008 show or the 13:30 mark to view his performance in the 2009 show.

Research Interests

  • Theoretical issues of cost-effectiveness analysis and diagnostic testing
  • Clinical issues of cancer prevention, particularly prostate cancer screening and diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Outcomes preferences in cancer screening and treatment, and the economic evaluation of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Health Services Research
P.O. Box 301402
Unit Number: 1444
Houston, TX 77230-1402
Room Number: FCT9.5040
Phone: 713-563-0020
Fax: 713-563-0059

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1991 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, PhD, Decision Sciences
1987 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, SM, Applied Mathematics
1981 Yale University, New Haven, CT, BA, cum laude, Applied Mathematics

Honors and Awards

2014 Leading Mentor in Cancer Prevention for 2013, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2012 Eugene L. Saenger Award for Distinguished Service, Society for Medical Decision Making
2009-2011 Member, Committee on Health Impact Assessment, National Research Council
2003-2004 President, Society for Medical Decision Making
2000-2001 Vice-President, Society for Medical Decision Making
1997-1999 Trustee, Society for Medical Decision Making
1990 Summer Research Fellowship, Harvard University
1981 B.A., cum laude, Yale University

Professional Memberships

American Society of Clinical Oncology
Affiliate Member, 2001-present
Decision Analysis Society
Member, 1991-present
Health Technology Assessment, International
Member, 2003-present
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Member, 1996-present
Society for Judgment and Decision Making
Member, 1992-present
Society for Medical Decision Making
Member, 1989-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Sun CS, Cantor SB, Reece GP, Crosby MA, Fingeret MC, Markey MK. Assessing women's preferences and preference modeling for breast reconstruction decision-making. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2(3):e125, 2014. PMCID: PMC4120963.
2. Orth RC, Cantor SB. Comparative effectiveness research in pediatric radiology. Pediatr Radiol 44(8):940-1, 2014. PMID: 25060619.
3. Deshmukh AA, Cantor SB, Crosby MA, Dong W, Shen Y, Bedrosian I, Peterson SK, Parker PA, Brewster AM. Cost of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Ann Surg Oncol 21(9):2823-30, 2014. PMCID: PMC4125517.
4. Waimann CA, Fernandez-Mazarambroz RJ, Cantor SB, Lopez-Olivo MA, Zhang H, Landon GC, Siff SJ, Suarez-Almazor ME. Cost-effectiveness of total knee replacement: a prospective cohort study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 66(4):592-9, 2014. PMID: 24124052.
5. Thaker NG, Guzman AB, Feeley TW, Jones TM, Incalcaterra JR, Kolom C, Tatum LS, Walters RS, Cantor SB, Rosenthal DI, Garden AS, Gunn GB, Fuller CD, Palmer MB, Frank SJ. Defining the value of proton therapy using time-driven activity based costing. Oncol Payers 1(1):22-28, 2014.
6. Walters RS, Albright HW, Weber RS, Feeley TW, Hanna EY, Cantor SB, Lewis CM, Burke TW. Developing a system to track meaningful outcome measures in head and neck cancer treatment. Head Neck 36(2):226-30, 2014. PMID: 23729280.
7. Haynes AB, You YN, Hu CY, Eng C, Kopetz ES, Rodriguez-Bigas MA, Skibber JM, Cantor SB, Chang GJ. Postoperative chemotherapy use after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for rectal cancer: Analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data, 1998-2007. Cancer 120(8):1162-70, 2014. PMCID: PMC3981916.
8. Pan J, Dogan BE, Carkaci S, Santiago L, Arribas E, Cantor SB, Wei W, Stafford RJ, Whitman GJ. Comparing performance of the CADstream and the DynaCAD breast MRI CAD systems: CADstream vs. DynaCAD in breast MRI. J Digit Imaging 26(5):971-6, 2013. PMCID: PMC3782607.
9. Blumenthal-Barby JS, Cantor SB, Russell HV, Naik AD, Volk RJ. Decision aids: when "nudging" patients to make a particular choice is more ethical than balanced, nondirective content. Health Aff (Millwood) 32(32):303-310, 2013. PMID: 23381523.
10. Tzeng CW, Abbott DE, Cantor SB, Fleming JB, Lee JE, Pisters PW, Varadhachary GR, Abbruzzese JL, Wolff RA, Ahmad SA, Katz MH. Frequency and intensity of postoperative surveillance after curative treatment of pancreatic cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Ann Surg Oncol 20(7):2197-203, 2013. PMID: 23408126.
11. Sun CS, Reece GP, Crosby MA, Fingeret MC, Skoracki RJ, Villa MT, Hanasono MM, Baumann DP, Chang DW, Cantor SB, Markey MK. Plastic surgeon expertise in predicting breast reconstruction outcomes for patient decision analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 1(8):e78, 2013. PMCID: PMC4044723.
12. Abbott DE, Tzeng CW, Merkow RP, Cantor SB, Chang GJ, Katz MH, Bentrem DJ, Bilimoria KY, Crane CH, Varadhachary GR, Abbruzzese JL, Wolff RA, Lee JE, Evans DB, Fleming JB. The cost-effectiveness of neoadjuvant chemoradiation is superior to a surgery-first approach in the treatment of pancreatic head adenocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol 20 Suppl 3:S500-8, 2013. PMID: 23397153.
13. Barshes NR, Chambers JD, Cantor SB, Cohen J, Belkin M. A primer on cost-effectiveness analyses for vascular surgeons. J Vasc Surg 55(6):1794-800, 2012. PMID: 22608043.
14. Abbott DE, Merkow RP, Cantor SB, Fleming JB, Varadhachary GR, Crane C, Bentrem DJ, Bilimoria KY. Cost-effectiveness of treatment strategies for pancreatic head adenocarcinoma and potential opportunities for improvement. Ann Surg Oncol 19(12):3659-67, 2012. PMID: 22965567.
15. Buys TP, Cantor SB, Guillaud M, Adler-Storthz K, Cox DD, Okolo C, Arulogon O, Oladepo O, Basen-Engquist K, Shinn E, Yamal JM, Beck JR, Scheurer ME, van Niekerk D, Malpica A, Matisic J, Staerkel G, Atkinson EN, Bidaut L, Lane P, Benedet JL, Miller D, Ehlen T, Price R, Adewole IF, MacAulay C, Follen M. Optical technologies and molecular imaging for cervical neoplasia: a program project update. Gend Med 9(1 Suppl):S7-24, 2012. PMCID: PMC3289763.
16. Abbott DE, Cantor SB, Hu CY, Aloia TA, You YN, Nguyen S, Chang GJ. Optimizing clinical and economic outcomes of surgical therapy for patients with colorectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases. J Am Coll Surg 215(2):262-70, 2012. PMID: 22560316.
17. Abbott DE, Cantor SB, Grubbs EG, Santora R, Gomez HF, Evans DB, Lee JE, Vu T, Perrier ND. Outcomes and economic analysis of routine preoperative 4-dimensional CT for surgical intervention in de novo primary hyperparathyroidism: does clinical benefit justify the cost? J Am Coll Surg 214(4):629-37, 2012. PMID: 22321526.
18. Cantor SB, Yamal JM, Guillaud M, Cox DD, Atkinson EN, Benedet JL, Miller D, Ehlen T, Matisic J, van Niekerk D, Bertrand M, Milbourne A, Rhodes H, Malpica A, Staerkel G, Nader-Eftekhari S, Adler-Storthz K, Scheurer ME, Basen-Engquist K, Shinn E, West LA, Vlastos AT, Tao X, Beck JR, MacAulay C, Follen M. Accuracy of optical spectroscopy for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: testing a device as an adjunct to colposcopy. Int J Cancer 128(5):1151-68, 2011. PMCID: PMC3015005.
19. Selvan MS, Subbian S, Cantor SB, Rodriguez A, Smith ML, Walsh GL. Ethics of transparency in research reports. Indian J Med Ethics 8(1):31-36, Jan-Mar, 2011. PMID: 22106596.
20. Spidell S, Wallace A, Carmack CL, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Parker CL, Cantor SB. Grief in healthcare chaplains: an investigation of the presence of disenfranchised grief. J Health Care Chaplain 17(1):75-86, 2011. PMID: 21534068.
21. Stepan KA, Gonzalez AP, Dorsey VS, Frye DK, Pyle ND, Smith RF, Throckmorton TA, Villejo LA, Cantor SB. Recommendations for enhancing clinical trials education: a review of the literature. J Cancer Educ 26(1):64-71, 2011. PMID: 20862574.
22. Prokhorov AV, Hudmon KS, Marani S, Foxhall L, Ford KH, Luca NS, Wetter DW, Cantor SB, Vitale F, Gritz ER. Engaging physicians and pharmacists in providing smoking cessation counseling. Arch Intern Med 170(18):1640-6, 2010. PMID: 20937922.
23. Stepan KA, Gonzalez AP, Pyle ND, Villejo LA, Cantor SB. Initiative to standardize a clinical trial educational program. Oncol Nurs Forum 37(5):535-9, 2010. PMID: 20797946.
24. Das P, Cantor SB, Parker CL, Zampieri JB, Baschnagel A, Eng C, Delclos ME, Krishnan S, Janjan NA, Crane CH. Long-term quality of life of patients after radiation therapy for treatment of anal cancer. Cancer 116(4):822-829, 2010. PMID: 20041481.
25. Fu AZ, Cantor SB, Kattan MW. Use of nomograms for personalized decision-analytic recommendations. Med Decis Making 30(2):267-274, 2010. PMID: 19648535.
26. Cameron C, Deming SP, Notzon B, Cantor SB, Broglio KR, Pagel W. Scientific-writing training for academic physicians of diverse language backgrounds. Acad Med 84(4):505-510, 2009. PMID: 19318790.
27. Cantor SB, Cárdenas-Turanzas M, Cox DD, Atkinson EN, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Beck JR, Follen M, Benedet JL. Accuracy of colposcopy in the diagnostic setting compared with the screening setting. Obstet Gynecol 111(1):7-14, 2008. PMID: 18165387.
28. Cantor SB, Volk RJ, Krahn MD, Cass AR, Gilani J, Weller SC, Spann SJ. Concordance of couples' prostate cancer screening recommendations from a decision analysis. Patient 1(1):11-19, 2008. PMID: 22272754.
29. Caviness AC, Demmler GJ, Swint JM, Cantor SB. Cost-effectiveness analysis of herpes simplex virus testing and treatment strategies in febrile neonates. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 162(7):665-74, 2008. PMID: 18606938.
30. Jones JA, Qazilbash MH, Shih YC, Cantor SB, Cooksley CD, Elting LS. In-hospital complications of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for lymphoid malignancies: clinical and economic outcomes from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Cancer 112(5):1096-105, 2008. PMID: 18286506.
31. Cárdenas-Turanzas M, Follen M, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Benedet JL, Beck JR, Cantor SB. The accuracy of the Papanicolaou smear in the screening and diagnostic settings. J Low Genit Tract Dis 12(4):269-75, 2008. PMID: 18820540.
32. Cárdenas-Turanzas M, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Scheurer ME, Adler-Storthz K, Benedet JL, Beck JR, Follen M, Cantor SB. The performance of human papillomavirus high-risk DNA testing in the screening and diagnostic settings. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 17(10):2865-71, 2008. PMCID: PMC2705895.
33. Cong X, Cox DD, Cantor SB. Bayesian meta-analysis of Papanicolaou smear accuracy. Gynecol Oncol 107(1 Suppl 1):S133-7, 2007. PMCID: PMC2964866.
34. Cormier JN, Xing Y, Ding M, Cantor SB, Salter KJ, Lee JE, Mansfield PF, Gershenwald JE, Ross MI. Cost effectiveness of adjuvant interferon in node-positive melanoma. J Clin Oncol 25(17):2442-8, 2007. PMID: 17557957.
35. Avritscher EB, Cooksley CD, Geraci JM, Bekele BN, Cantor SB, Rolston KV, Elting LS. Cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination in working-age cancer patients. Cancer 109(11):2357-64, 2007. PMID: 17457827.
36. Elting LS, Shih YC, Stiff PJ, Bensinger W, Cantor SB, Cooksley C, Spielberger R, Emmanoulides C. Economic impact of palifermin on the costs of hospitalization for autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplant: analysis of phase 3 trial results. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 13(7):806-13, 2007. PMID: 17580258.
37. Davies KR, Cox DD, Swartz RJ, Cantor SB, Follen M. Inverse decision theory with applications to screening and diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Gynecol Oncol 107(1 Suppl 1):S187-95, 2007. PMID: 17850855.
38. Basen-Engquist K, Fouladi RT, Cantor SB, Shinn E, Sui D, Sharman M, Follen M. Patient assessment of tests to detect cervical cancer. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 23(2):240-7, 2007. PMID: 17493310.
39. Cardenas-Turanzas M, Freeberg JA, Benedet JL, Atkinson EN, Cox DD, Richards-Kortum R, MacAulay C, Follen M, Cantor SB. The clinical effectiveness of optical spectroscopy for the in vivo diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: where are we? Gynecol Oncol 107(1 Suppl 1):S138-46, 2007. PMID: 17908588.
40. Smith TJ, Khatcheressian J, Lyman GH, Ozer H, Armitage JO, Balducci L, Bennett CL, Cantor SB, Crawford J, Cross SJ, Demetri G, Desch CE, Pizzo PA, Schiffer CA, Schwartzberg L, Somerfield MR, Somlo G, Wade JC, Wade JL, Winn RJ, Wozniak AJ, Wolff AC. 2006 update of recommendations for the use of white blood cell growth factors: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline. J Clin Oncol 24(19):3187-205, 2006. PMID: 16682719.
41. Palos GR, Cantor SB, Aday LA, Mendoza TR, Mobley GM, Cleeland CS. An urban community's preferences for hypothetical outcomes of analgesic pain treatment. J Pain Symptom Manage 32(5):470-7, 2006. PMID: 17085273.
42. Palos GR, Mendoza TR, Mobley GM, Cantor SB, Cleeland CS. Asking the community about cutpoints used to describe mild, moderate, and severe pain. J Pain 7(1):49-56, 2006. PMID: 16414555.
43. Cantor SB, Levy LB, Cárdenas-Turanzas M, Basen-Engquist K, Le T, Beck JR, Follen M. Collecting direct non-health care and time cost data: application to screening and diagnosis of cervical cancer. Med Decis Making 26(3):265-72, May-Jun, 2006. PMID: 16751325.
44. Lee JJ, Bekele BN, Zhou X, Cantor SB, Komaki R, Lee JS. Decision analysis for prophylactic cranial irradiation for patients with small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol 24(22):3597-603, 2006. PMID: 16877726.
45. Guillaud M, Benedet JL, Cantor SB, Staerkel G, Follen M, MacAulay C. DNA ploidy compared with human papilloma virus testing (Hybrid Capture II) and conventional cervical cytology as a primary screening test for cervical high-grade lesions and cancer in 1555 patients with biopsy confirmation. Cancer 107(2):309-18, 2006. PMID: 16773634.
46. Swartz RJ, Cox DD, Cantor SB, Davies K, Follen M. Inverse decision theory: characterizing losses for a decision rule with applications in cervical cancer screening. J Am Stat Assoc 101:1-8, 2006. PMID: No PubMed.
47. Jeruss JS, Hunt KK, Xing Y, Krishnamurthy S, Meric-Bernstam F, Cantor SB, Ross MI, Cormier JN. Is intraoperative touch imprint cytology of sentinel lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer cost effective? Cancer 107(10):2328-36, 2006. PMID: 17039501.
48. Tortolero-Luna G, Byrd T, Groff JY, Linares AC, Mullen PD, Cantor SB. Relationship between English language use and preferences for involvement in medical care among Hispanic women. J Womens Health 15(6):774-85, 2006. PMID: 16910909.
49. Shih YC, Wang XS, Cantor SB, Cleeland CS. The association between symptom burdens and utility in Chinese cancer patients. Qual Life Res 15(8):1427-1438, 2006. PMID: 16791743.

Invited Articles

1. Follen M, Crain S, MacAulay C, Basen-Engquist K, Cantor SB, Cox D, Atkinson EN, MacKinnon N, Guillaud M, Richards-Kortum R. Optical technologies for cervical neoplasia: update of an NCI program project grant. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 3(1):41-53, 2005. PMID: 16166967.


1. Cantor SB. Clinical applications in the decision analysis literature. Comment on Keefer DL, et al. Perspective on decision analysis applications, 1990-2001. Decision Analysis 1:25-28, 2004.
2. Cantor SB. Critique: Georgakoudi I, Sheets E, Muller M, Backman V, Crum C, Badizadegan K, Dasari R, Feld M. Trimodal spectroscopy may improve in vivo detection of precancerous cervical changes. Evidence-Based Oncology 3:148-149, 2002.


1. Volk R, Cantor S, Linder S, Saraykar S, Hoffman K. “Just Bear with It”: Men’s experiences with side effects of short-term androgen deprivation therapy for intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Support Care Cancer 22(Suppl 1:S1-S238):S44, 2014.

Last updated: 10/8/2014