UCSF to Study Benefits of Personal Approach to Breast Cancer Screening
UCSF News reports on a new study, led by breast cancer researcher Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, that will compare a personalized approach to breast cancer screening with annual mammograms.
A research team at UC San Francisco has won a five-year award of $14.1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to investigate whether a personalized approach to breast cancer screening is as safe and effective as annual mammograms.
The project, called the WISDOM study, will be led by breast cancer researcher Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor of surgery and director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Breast cancer researcher Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, consults with a patient at UCSF. Esserman is leading a new study that will compare a personalized approach to breast cancer screening with annual mammograms.
“The controversy surrounding breast cancer screening has left women and their providers frustrated and confused,” said Esserman. “The time has come to put the controversy to rest.”
The five-year study – a UC Health systemwide effort with participation from all five UC medical centers – will involve approximately 100,000 women 40 to 80 years old. It will test a more targeted approach to breast cancer screening: those at higher risk are screened more often and those at lower risk are screened less often. Annual screening will be weighed against a personalized schedule of screening based on each woman’s individual risk.
“This pragmatic trial will allow us to learn who is at risk for what type of breast cancer, and to continue to refine our approach to screening, potentially leading to less screening for those at very low risk and more for those at greater risk,” Esserman said. “It will enable us to focus on prevention as well. If our study is successful, fewer women will suffer from the anxiety of false-positive mammograms and unnecessary biopsies, and more women will gain a realistic understanding of their personal risk of breast cancer, which may reduce general worry about breast cancer.”