Faina Linkov, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Womens Research Institute Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health


The primary research focus of our group is the identification of blood-based and tissue-based biomarkers associated with the development of endometrial cancer. We have looked at premalignant endometrial changes associated with obesity in conjunction with weight loss through bariatric surgery or behavioral means to determine if there is a correlation with the normalization of tissue-based or blood-based biomarkers associated with obesity linked cancers. Our group has published a large number of research papers in the area of molecular epidemiology, where we reported on the temporal stability of protein-based markers, biomarker changes occurring with weight loss, and panels of biomarkers associated with various types of malignancies. In addition to the biological basis of obesity and its link to cancer, we are currently exploring the contribution of biobehavioral factors (including depression, sleep, and quality of life) to cancer risk. Current research activities also include investigation of tumor microenviroment, including evaluation of adipose derived stem cells in endometrial cancer patients.

Our newest line of research explores of the effect of the implementation of a clinical pathway for hysterectomy on the proportion of total abdominal procedures performed within the UPMC Healthcare System. The preliminary results of this research show that the proportion of total abdominal procedures has decreased, while minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures have increased. These early results also indicate an improvement in surgical outcomes for women undergoing minimally invasive hysterectomy.


Selected Publications

  • Linkov F, Goughnour SL, Ma T, Xu Z, Edwards RP, Lokshin AE, Ramanathan RC,
    Hamad GG, McCloskey C, Bovbjerg DH. Changes in inflammatory endometrial cancer
    risk biomarkers in individuals undergoing surgical weight loss. Gynecol Oncol.
    2017 Oct;147(1):133-138. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.07.144. Epub 2017 Aug 7.
  • Linkov F, Goughnour SL, Adambekov S, Lokshin A, Kelley JL, Sukumvanich P,
    Comerci JT, Marra KG, Kokai LE, Rubin JP, Vlad AM, Philips BJ, Edwards RP.
    Inflammatory biomarker in adipose stem cells of women with endometrial cancer.
    Biomark Med. 2018 Jul 25. doi: 10.2217/bmm-2017-0355. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Yi Y, Bryce CL, Adambekov S, Edwards RP, Goughnour SL, Linkov F.
    Cost-effectiveness analysis of biopsy strategies for endometrial cancer diagnosis
    in women with postmenopausal bleeding: Pipelle sampling curette versus dilatation
    & curettage. Gynecol Oncol. 2018 Jul;150(1):112-118. doi:
    10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.04.565. Epub 2018 May 7.
  • Linkov F, Goughnour SL, Edwards RP, Lokshin A, Ramanathan RC, Hamad GG, McCloskey C, Bovbjerg DH. Endometrial cancer associated biomarkers in bariatric surgery candidates: exploration of racial differences. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2017 Jan 13. pii: S1550-7289(17)30038-2.  [Epub ahead of print]
  • Adambekov S, Goughnour SL, Mansuria S, Donnellan N, Elishaev E, Villanueva HJ, Edwards RP, Bovbjerg DH, Linkov F. Patient and provider factors associated with endometrial Pipelle sampling failure. Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Feb;144(2):324-328.
  • Linkov F, Valappil B, McAfee J, Goughnour SL, Hildrew DM, McCall AA, Linkov I, Hirsch B, Snyderman C. Development of an evidence-based decision pathway for vestibular schwannoma treatment options. Am J Otolaryngol. 2017 Jan – Feb;38(1):57-64
  • Sanei-Moghaddam A, Ma T, Goughnour SL, Edwards RP, Lounder PJ, Ismail N, Comerci JT, Mansuria SM, Linkov F. Changes in Hysterectomy Trends After the Implementation of a Clinical Pathway. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jan;127(1):139-47.
  • Goughnour SL, Thurston RC, Althouse AD, Freese KE, Edwards RP, Hamad GG, McCloskey C, Ramanathan R, Bovbjerg DH, Linkov F. Assessment of hot flushes and vaginal dryness among obese women undergoing bariatric surgery. Climacteric. 2016;19(1):71-6.
  • Trump BD, Linkov F, Edwards RP, Linkov I. Not a Humbug: the evolution of patient-centred medical decision-making. Evid Based Med. 2015 Dec;20(6):193-7.
  • Adambekov S, Kaiyrlykyzy A, Igissinov N, Linkov F. Health challenges in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 Jan;70(1):104-8.
  • Kaiyrlykyzy A, Freese KE, Elishaev E, Bovbjerg DH, Ramanathan R, Hamad GG, McCloskey C, Althouse AD, Huang M, Edwards RP, Linkov F. Endometrial histology in severely obese bariatric surgery candidates: an exploratory analysis. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2015 May-Jun;11(3):653-8.
  • Freese KE, Kokai L, Edwards RP, Philips BJ, Sheikh MA, Kelley J, Comerci J, Marra KG, Rubin JP, Linkov F. Adipose-derived stems cells and their role in human cancer development, growth, progression, and metastasis: a systematic review. Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 1;75(7):1161-8.
  • Linkov F, Edwards RP, Althouse A, Rauh-Hain JA, Del Carmen MG, Freese KE, Kelley JL, Olawaiye AB. Obesity, lymphadenectomy and survival outcomes in intermediate to high-risk, early-stage endometrial cancer patients. Future Oncol. 2015;11(4):607-15.
  • Linkov F, Edwards RP, Althouse A, Rauh-Hain J, Del Carmen M, Freese KE, Kelley J, Olawaiye A. Obesity, Lymphadenectomy, and Survival Outcomes in Intermediate to High-risk, Early Stage Endometrial Cancer Patients In press, Future Oncology, 2015 Feb;11(4):607-15.
  • Sheikh MA, Althouse AD, Freese KE, Soisson S, Edwards RP, Welburn S, Sukumvanich P, Comerci J, Kelley J, LaPorte RE, Linkov F. USA endometrial cancer projections to 2030: should we be concerned? Future Oncol. 2014 Dec;10(16):2561-8.
  • Linkov F, Elishaev E, Gloyeske N, Edwards R, Althouse AD, Geller MA, Svendsen C, Argenta PA. Bariatric surgery-induced weight loss changes immune markers in the endometrium of morbidly obese women. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014 Sep-Oct;10(5):921-6.
  • Linkov F, Kokai L, Edwards R, Sheikh MA, Freese KE, Marra KG, Rubin JP. The role of adipose-derived stem cells in endometrial cancer proliferation. Scand J Clin Lab Invest Suppl. 2014;244:54-8; discussion 57-8.

For additional publications, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=linkov+f