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Dr. Esserman on Personalized Screenings for Breast Cancer

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA
Published: Thursday, Jul 26, 2018



Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor, University of California, San Francisco, 2018 Giant of Cancer Care® for Cancer Diagnostics, discusses personalized versus annual screenings for breast cancer. This is the basis behind the WISDOM trial, which is in the process of trying to recruit 100,000 women.

Breast cancer is very heterogeneous, says Esserman. There are many different kinds of the disease, and everyone has different levels of risk to get breast cancer. For these reasons, if patients are receiving personalized therapies, then they should be getting personalized screenings. WISDOM will utilize a comprehensive risk assessment system, looking at the 9 genes that increase risk and over 200 characteristics associated with polygenic risk score, such as breast density, family history, and exposures. All of this, Esserman says, is put into a risk algorithm.

With that, patients are assigned an age to start and stop screening, frequency, and modality. The results will be compared to those of annual screenings.


Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor, University of California, San Francisco, 2018 Giant of Cancer Care® for Cancer Diagnostics, discusses personalized versus annual screenings for breast cancer. This is the basis behind the WISDOM trial, which is in the process of trying to recruit 100,000 women.

Breast cancer is very heterogeneous, says Esserman. There are many different kinds of the disease, and everyone has different levels of risk to get breast cancer. For these reasons, if patients are receiving personalized therapies, then they should be getting personalized screenings. WISDOM will utilize a comprehensive risk assessment system, looking at the 9 genes that increase risk and over 200 characteristics associated with polygenic risk score, such as breast density, family history, and exposures. All of this, Esserman says, is put into a risk algorithm.

With that, patients are assigned an age to start and stop screening, frequency, and modality. The results will be compared to those of annual screenings.

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