The Athena Breast Health Network has chosen Massachusetts-based Mammosphere to provide network management of medical images and associated clinical information required to conduct the WISDOM Study, a study involving more than 100,000 women that will help determine the optimal frequency and method of breast cancer screening.
The Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk, or WISDOM Study, is intended to compare the effectiveness of a personalized screening protocol based on individual risks, such as genetic makeup and family history, to annual screening. The results of this study have the potential to impact existing standards of practice on screening and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. The Mammosphere platform is powered by lifeIMAGE, the leading medical information network globally.
“Mammosphere, powered by lifeIMAGE, is enabling the WISDOM team to advance our clinical understanding of breast cancer screening,” said Matthew A. Michela, President and CEO of lifeIMAGE, the parent company of Mammosphere. “Mammosphere was originally created to solve the chronic problem of guaranteeing that prior mammograms are available when needed. It is well proven that having historical clinical information alongside new imaging dramatically reduces the high rate of false positives in breast cancer screenings and supports early detection of malignancies allowing treatments to begin sooner. The Mammosphere platform allows all types of clinical information, including breast health records, as required by the WISDOM study, to be acquired securely, digitally stored while maintaining their diagnostic quality, and easily shared with physicians, researchers, and patients.”
The study is being led by Laura Esserman, M.D., who is the Director of the UCSF Breast Care Center and founder of the Athena Breast Health Network. Esserman is nationally and internationally known as a leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals covering all aspects of breast health including information systems, immunology, decision making, health policy and the use of imaging. Esserman was a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation.
“What we need is better evidence generation and modern approaches to incorporating risk assessment into screening. Think of it like TSA pre-check; everyone who has pre-check loves it. You can tailor the amount of screening you do based on the risk you pose. It’s a good concept to apply in cancer screening,” said Esserman. “We are using Mammosphere because it enables us to efficiently acquire the information we need to perform the WISDOM Study and leverages the leading technology and growing network offered by lifeIMAGE. Beyond our study’s goals but in line with its values, Mammosphere empowers women by giving them control of their own health information and can make screening more efficient for providers.”
The study is recruiting 100,000 women in select areas nationwide. One group of patients will receive annual mammograms, which is currently the standard in the United States. Another group will be screened for specific genetic mutations that increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer, as well as other risk factors. Those considered high risk for developing breast cancer would have more frequent screening schedules. The study will also help determine whether some patients would benefit from fewer mammograms, thereby lowering overall costs to the healthcare system, reducing exposure to radiation, and lessening anxiety from false positive results.
“The WISDOM Study is an exciting opportunity to learn who is really at risk for what kind of breast cancer,” added Esserman. “We hope we can enable significant improvements in breast cancer screening for generations to come, leading to better clinical outcomes for thousands of patients.”
About the WISDOM Study
The WISDOM Study is designed to end the confusion about breast cancer screening. The goal is to find the safest and most effective breast cancer screening schedule for women. It is being conducted by The Athena Breast Health Network, a collaboration of breast cancer experts, health care providers, researchers, and patient advocates at five University of California Medical Centers (UCD, UCI, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF) and the Sanford Health System, a rural health care system in the Midwest region of the United States (athenacarenetwork.org).
Women between the ages of 40 and 74 who have not had breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and reside within the study areas are eligible for the WISDOM study. For more information or to become a WISDOM Study participant, please visit wisdomstudy.org.
For more information: www.lifeimage.com