Breast cancer: better screening for better care
Already 10,000 women participating in MyPeBS!
May, 2021 – Unicancer announces the inclusion of 10,000 female volunteers in the MyPeBS (My Personal Breast cancer Screening) study, almost half of whom were recruited in France.
This unique project, financed by the European Union and coordinated by Unicancer, brings together 27 international partners and recruiting centres in six countries (France, Italy, Israel, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain). Its aim is to evaluate a new breast cancer screening strategy based on womens’ individual risk of developing breast cancer. Overall, MyPeBS aims to recruit 85,000 female volunteers aged between 40 and 70 years old and who have never had breast cancer.
« We are delighted to reach this symbolic milestone of 10,000 women, as MyPeBS addresses a major public health challenge: to identify a screening strategy that is more efficient and safer than the current one», explains Dr Suzette Delaloge, oncologist at Gustave Roussy Cancer campus (Villejuif, France), and international coordinator of the MyPeBS study.
With 360,000 new diagnoses and 92,000 deaths each year in Europe, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women, but it is most often curable if diagnosed early enough.
Today, all women aged 50 to 74 are invited to participate in the organised breast cancer screening programme by having a mammogram every two years.
However, not all women are identical when it comes to breast cancer risk.
This is why MyPeBS proposes to adapt the frequency and methods of screening from the age of 40 onwards according to the personal risk profile of each woman, based on several factors (genetic, hormonal, family history, etc.): the higher the risk, the more intensive the screening examinations, and vice versa.
In order to evaluate this new screening strategy, the MyPeBS study randomly assigns participating women to follow either the standard screening schedule or a personalised screening schedule according to their risk of breast cancer. The duration of participation is 4 years for all women.
Thus, MyPeBS is investigating whether personalised risk-based screening could be both more efficient (fewer late-stage breast cancers diagnosed) and safer (fewer false positives1 and over-diagnoses2) than the current organised screening strategies.
MyPeBS could guide future European recommendations on breast cancer screening.
1 False positive: Cancer suspected on a mammogram and which, after further evaluation, is not confirmed.
2 Overdiagnosis: a cancer that is detected by mammography screening but develops so slowly that it would never cause any symptoms over the life of the woman concerned; however, it leads to other unnecessary exams (e.g. biopsy) or even ineffective- yet sometimes very aggressive – anti-cancer treatments (referred to as “overtreatment”). This concerns around 1 in 10 cancers detected by mammography screening.