Press release – The My PeBS Study / Belgium : “Advancing knowledge about breast cancer screening is essential”

October 20, 2022 – MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Cancer Screening) is a clinical study which aims to evaluate a breast cancer screening strategy based on individual risk. The clinical study, coordinated by Unicancer (France) involves 28 partners in 6 countries (Belgium, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel, Spain). In Belgium it is conducted in 11 hospitals and is coordinated by the Jules Bordet Institute, part of the University Hospital of Brussels. The recruitment phase of the study, which has been ongoing since 2019, has been extended until June 2023 in order to continue recruiting women, whose commitment is essential to obtain results.

The current standard screening is effective but has limitations.

Breast cancer screening programs in the European Union Member States offer standard screening for all women aged from 50 until 69 (or 74 depending on the country) based on a single risk factor: age. However, other risk factors are involved in the development of breast cancer: family history, personal history, lifestyle and genetics. While this standard screening strategy has a definite advantage, that of early detection leading to less extensive treatment and a lower risk of death, it also has disadvantages: over-diagnosis (finding and treating tumors that would not have been a problem), interval cancers (cancers that have not been detected between 2 screening examinations), false positives (women are called back for further examinations that do not reveal any cancer).

MyPeBS, towards personalised breast cancer screening

The MyPeBs (My Personal Breast Cancer Screening) study aims to overcome these limitations by proposing a European-wide clinical study to evaluate the benefits of personalised breast cancer screening. In this context, the frequency and modalities of screening are adapted to the individual risk of each woman. The purpose of this new strategy is to increase the effectiveness of screening, while reducing its inconvenience. The results of this study will be used to propose European recommendations to improve organised screening. The study, launched in 2019, already has more than 35,000 women engaged in the 6 participating countries. Recruitment of volunteers continues until June next year, with the hope of recruiting a total of 56,000 women in the 6 participating countries.

Why should you participate in this study?

The participants in the MyPeBs study are certainly the ones who can best talk about the reasons why they chose to participate in MyPeBs. In this context, some of them wished to testify anonymously, answering the question:
«Why did you choose to participate in MyPeBs? » «To advance medical science, but also to be able to benefit from the new knowledge that the study will provide about the usefulness and effectiveness of screening. «In order to take an active and concrete part in the development and improvement of breast cancer screening, and thus to detect and treat earlier when necessary, and not to make people undergo unnecessary examinations when they do not have to». «As this study will take place in several countries, we will have access to a large genetic diversity to draw conclusions. In short, by participating, I am contributing to the progress of medicine, I am well monitored myself and many lives can be saved in the future. »

Find more information on the press release here.