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More personalized breast cancer screening

A new Norwegian clinical pilot will investigate how women can receive more personalized breast cancer screening.

“This ‘one size fits all’ approach does not take into account the different breast cancer risks of individual women. A more personalised screening program might be beneficial for both women and society, both in terms of increased surveillance of persons at higher risk for breast cancer, as well as more targeted use of resources. My motivation as a breast radiologist is to work for a high-quality, evidence-based screening program for breast cancer, and this study is an exciting contribution in that respect,” said Tone Hovda, senior radiologist at Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, where the study is running, to Sofia Lindén at Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Participants of the study will submit a saliva sample, which is sent to Estonia for a genetic data analysis done by the Estonian medical technology company and healthcare service provider Antegenes that has developed the genetic test AnteBC (a CE-certified medical device).

The test is used to map a range of gene variants that individually don’t give increased risk for breast cancer, but where the combination of several genes can result in an increased risk. This is called polygenic risk score (PRS) and has never been used in screening programmes in Norway before.

Analyses a woman’s genetic predisposition to the development of breast cancer

The results from the test will show if the participant has an elevated genetic risk for breast cancer. If it doesn’t, the participant will be recommended to follow the ordinary screening programme for breast cancer in Norway. If the test shows an elevated risk for breast cancer, the participant will be offered a control scheme, which may include a recommendation of starting regular mammography before they turn 50 years old and/or go to mammography more often than every two years.

“The study analyses a woman’s genetic predisposition to the development of breast cancer, and based on that, provides personalized clinical recommendations for the prevention and early detection of disease. In the pilot study, both a woman’s polygenic risk and, if necessary, the presence of rare single genes that increase the risk of breast cancer will be evaluated,” commented Peeter Padrik, CEO, Antegenes.

Participants will also answer a questionnaire to give background information, such as family history. If there is suspicion of elevated risk of hereditary familial disease, the participant may be offered genetic counselling and extended genetic testing according to current clinical practice.

Personalized screening

This initiative is part of the implementation research project AnteNOR, which aims to investigate how it will be possible to implement a more personalised screening programme for breast cancer in Norway, based on the individual’s genetic risk for disease.

The project partners are Oslo University Hospital, the University of Oslo, Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Antegenes. It has received funding from The Norway Grants Green ICT programme and runs between 2021-2024.

Source: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Photo: iStock