University of Vermont

The University of Vermont Cancer Center

Bio for Brian Sprague, Ph.D.
Brian Sprague, Ph.D.

Brian Sprague, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery
Department of Surgery

Sprague Lab Page--
The Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System

Contact Information
Office Location:
UHC Rm 4425, 1 S. Prospect Street


M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, twin Cities, MN, 2002
Ph.D., Population Health Sciences (Concentration in Epidemiology), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Department of Population Health Sciences (2009-2010)

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 2010 - present

Research Interests

Breast Cancer Epidemiology
Breast Cancer Screening
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Mammographic Breast Density

Research Grants

Co-Principal Investigator. Vermont PROSPR Research Center (U54 CA163303; Principal Investigator Berta Geller). National Cancer Institute; 2011-2016; $6.5 million total costs. Project leader for “Breast density and collagen alignment as predictors of DCIS diseasefree survival”; $619,612 total project costs.

Co-Investigator. Risk-Based Breast Cancer Screening in Community Settings (P01CA154292- 01A1; Subcontract to Group Health Research Institute, Principal Investigator Diana Miglioretti). National Cancer Institute; 2011-2016; $227,769 total UVM costs.

UVM Principal Investigator. Comparative Modeling: Informing Breast Cancer Control Practice & Policy (U01
CA152958; Subcontract to University of Wisconsin, Principal Investigator Jeanne Mandelblatt). National Cancer Institute; 2010-2015; $81,461 total UVM costs.

Co-Principal Investigator. The influence of inflammation on breast cancer risk. Fletcher Allen Health Care/University of Vermont Medical Group Research Award Program; 2012-2014; $49,997 total costs.

UVM Principal Investigator. Tumor microenvironment and progression to invasion after a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (BC102357; Subcontract to University of Wisconsin, Principal Investigator Amy Trentham-Dietz). Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program; 2011-2013; $28,097 total UVM costs.

UVM Principal Investigator. Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium Data Resource (HHSN26120110031C; Subcontract to Group Health Research Institute, Principal Investigator Diana Miglioretti). National Cancer Institute; 2011-2012; $43,047 total UVM costs.

Principal Investigator. Modifiable risk factors for second breast cancer events after diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (PCF-0596). American Society of Preventive Oncology Research Fellowship with funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the Susan Komen Foundation; 2010-2012; $54,054 total costs.

UVM Principal Investigator. The Vitamin D Pathway and Mammographic Breast Density in Postmenopausal Women (R03 CA139548; Subcontract to University of Wisconsin, Principal Investigator Amy Trentham-Dietz). National Cancer Institute; 2011-2012; $17,829 total UVM costs.

Awards and Honors

Scholar-in-Training Travel Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2009
Cancer Prevention Research Fellowship, American Society of Preventive Oncology/Prevent Cancer Foundation, 2009


Gangnon RE, Sprague BL, Stout NK, Alagoz O, Weedon-Fekjær H, Holford TR, Trentham-Dietz A.  The Contribution of Mammography Screening to Breast Cancer Incidence Trends in the United States: An Updated Age-period-cohort Model. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Mar 18. pii: cebp.1286.2014. [Epub ahead of print]

Lee CI, Cevik M, Alagoz O, Sprague BL, Tosteson AN, Miglioretti DL, Kerlikowske K, Stout NK, Jarvik JG, Ramsey SD, Lehman CD. Comparative effectiveness of combined digital mammography and tomosynthesis screening for women with dense breasts. Radiology. 2015 Mar;274(3):772-80.

Othman E, Wang J, Sprague BL, Rounds T, Ji Y, Herschorn SD, Wood ME. Comparison of false positive rates for screening breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in high risk women performed on stacked versus alternating schedules. Springerplus. 2015 Feb 13;4:77.

Scheel JR, Lee JM, Sprague BL, Lee CI2, Lehman CD. Screening ultrasound as an adjunct to mammography in women with mammographically dense breasts. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jan;212(1):9-17.

Vatovec C, Erten MZ, Kolodinsky J, Brown P, Wood M, James T, Sprague BL. Ductal carcinoma in situ: a brief review of treatment variation and impacts on patients and society.  Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2014;24(4):281-6.

Bolton KC, Mace JL, Vacek PM, Herschorn SD, James TA, Tice JA, Kerlikowske K, Geller BM, Weaver DL, Sprague BL. Changes in breast cancer risk distribution among Vermont women using screening mammography. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Jun 23;106(8).

Wernli KJ, O'Meara ES, Kerlikowske K, Miglioretti DL, Muller CY, Onega T, Sprague BL, Henderson LM, Buist DS. Investigation of mammographic breast density as a risk factor for ovarian cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Jan;106(1):djt341.

Hart McLaughlin V, Trentham-Dietz A, Hampton JM, Newcomb PA, Sprague BL. Lifestyle factors and the risk of a second breast cancer after ductal carcinoma in situ. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Mar;23(3):450-60.

Munsell MF, Sprague BL, Berry DA, Chisholm G, Trentham-Dietz A. Body mass index and breast cancer risk according to postmenopausal estrogen-progestin use and hormone receptor status. Epidemiol Rev. 2014;36(1):114-36.

Sprague BL, Bolton KC, Mace JL, Herschorn SD, James TA, Vacek PM, Weaver DL, Geller BM. Registry-based Study of Trends in Breast Cancer Screening Mammography before and after the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations. Radiology. 2014 Feb;270(2):354-61.

Sprague BL, McLaughlin V, Hampton JM, Newcomb PA, Trentham-Dietz A. Disease-free survival by treatment after a DCIS diagnosis in a population-based cohort study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Aug;141(1):145-54.

Fenton JJ, Onega T, Zhu W, Balch S, Smith-Bindman R, Henderson L, Sprague BL, Kerlikowske K, Hubbard RA. Validation of a Medicare Claims-based Algorithm for Identifying Breast Cancers Detected at Screening Mammography. Med Care. 2013 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang J, Trentham-Dietz A, Hemming JD, Hedman CJ, Sprague BL. Serum factors and clinical characteristics associated with serum E-screen activity. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 May;22(5):962-71.

Batina NG, Trentham-Dietz A, Gangnon RE, Sprague BL, Rosenberg MA, Stout NK, Fryback DG, Alagoz O. Variation in tumor natural history contributes to racial disparities in breast cancer stage at diagnosis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Apr;138(2):519-28.

Hubbard RA, Zhu W, Horblyuk R, Karliner L, Sprague BL, Henderson L, Lee D, Onega T, Buist DS, Sweet A. Diagnostic imaging and biopsy pathways following abnormal screen-film and digital screening mammography. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Apr;138(3):879-87.

Sprague BL, Dittus KL, Pace CM, Dulko D, Pollack LA, Hawkins NA, Geller BM. Patient satisfaction with breast and colorectal cancer survivorship care plans. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2013 Jun 1;17(3):266-72. doi: 10.1188/13.CJON.17-03AP.

Sprague BL, Trentham-Dietz A, Hedman CJ, Wang J, Hemming JD, Hampton JM, Buist DS, Bowles EJ, Sisney GS, Burnside ES. Circulating serum xenoestrogens and mammographic breast density. Breast Cancer Res. 2013 May 27;15(3):R45. [Epub ahead of print]

Sprague BL, Trentham-Dietz A, Cronin KA. A sustained decline in postmenopausal hormone use: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2010. Obstet Gynecol 2012;120(3):595-603.

Lowry SJ, Sprague BL, Aiello Bowles EJ, Hedman CJ, Hemming J, Hampton JM, Burnside ES, Sisney GA, Buist DS, Trentham-Dietz A. Mammographic breast density and serum phytoestrogen levels.Nutr Cancer 2012;64(6):783-9.

Complete List of Publications