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Showing posts from July, 2018

Sharing the WISDOM: An Oncologist, a Geneticist and an Epidemiologist walk into a bar...

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There isn’t actually a punch line here.  Early detection and accurate treatment for breast cancer is certainly more a relief than a joking matter.  We did, however, get together to learn about the latest advances in breast cancer screening, prevention and treatment.

Because women's health starts with research!  In support of the WISDOM (Women Informed to Screen Depending OMeasures of risk) trial, The Doris A. Howell Foundation celebrated its Health and Happiness Series in June with the presentation “Improving Benefits and Reducing Harms from Breast Cancer Screening: The WISDOM Trial,” hosting three renowned specialists in the areas of oncology, epidemiology and genetic testing. 

The objective was to inform the San Diego community about the latest research being conducted regarding breast cancer screening guidelines, their efficacy, and the steps required to provide women with accurate, personalized prevention processes that effectively diagnose and treat breast cancer ON AN IND…

Wisdom Study, risk assessment and the role genetics play in breast cancer screening.

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During the Howell Foundation's Evening Series in June, Dr. Madlensky discussed the genetic perspective of breast cancer and its role in determining the best course of action for women enrolled in the study.  We know that every woman has a set of different risk factors.  Why does reinforcing them matter? What is the best screening recommendation based on an individualized basis?

The Wisdom Trial has two arms. In the randomized arm, women will be assigned to one of two groups, either a group who will receive annual mammograms or a group whose diagnostics will be determined by their personalized profile, including genetics. The second arm is an observational one, where women will continue to receive mammograms (or not) at the frequency to which they are accustomed and under their own physician’s supervision. 

The Wisdom Trial seeks to broaden the understanding of the role risk factors play in the development of breast cancer coupled with the information provided by women, to then pr…

Breast Cancer Screening and the Wisdom Study: How can we address the controversy? Top things to know about breast cancer screening today

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“There are many different guidelines by different organizations, and this adds a lot of confusion for women regarding their own health”, comments Dr. LaCroix. “The trial is comparing yearly screening to a personalized screening approach.  The personalized screening will provide a mammogram timeline based on a participant’s individual risk factors (age, personal and family history, genetic tests for gene mutations and variations) linked to the development of breast cancer,”she concludes.

Dr. LaCroix’s participation in the WISDOM Trial is focused on determining how screening can be improved.  She presented the two sides of the breast-health screening coin.  Whereas research shows that overall mortality rates have gone down, one needs to dig in deeper to understand all the moving parts in breast screening: technology – which has certainly improved -- the development of new ways to treat the different stages of breast cancer, and ultimately, personal circumstances, propensity to risk fa…

Making history with the WISDOM Trial: Because when women come together, beautiful things happen.

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Precision Medicine Initiative: “A one-size fits all approach to prevention and early detection of breast cancer is not optimal for women”
Dr. Barbara Parker, breast oncologist and Senior Deputy Director of Cancer Medicine, was the first of three keynote speakers.  She discussed breast cancer Precision Medicine, breast cancer incidence and death rates, and treatment advances for early and advanced breast cancer.

In summary, the most important take-away messages from Dr. Parker’s presentation include:

 “Precision Medicine” was defined by the National Cancer Institute in 2015 and  focuses on prevention and treatment strategies that take patients’ individual characteristics into account.  “A one-size fits all approach to prevention and early detection of breast cancer is not optimal for women,” comments Dr.  Parker.  Precision Medicine in breast cancer involves:

Individualizing care based upon genes, environment, and prognosis; that is, individualizing care based upon family history and in…

Joining Engineering and Medicine: Encouraging yet Challenging! What you need to know about the future of Regenerative Medicine.

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During the Howell Foundation luncheon in May, the audience was taken once again to the world of futuristic medicine with the presentation “Advanced Tissue Therapies: Progress in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, presented by Dr. Benjamin Shepherd, Senior Director of Therapeutics at Organovo Inc.

Dr. Shepherd talked about examples of tissue engineering for both drug discovery and therapeutic tissue development.  His presentation focused on current research areas where bioscience and technology have been very successful. He elaborated on the areas of challenge in tissue regeneration:  1) current efforts in organ reconstruction based on previous research in vascular grafts (the blood vessel space), and 2) efforts focused on “additive manufacturing”, also known as 3-dimensional printing.  Of significant importance are the future applications of his own research in both areas.

As individuals live longer, the need to address the surmounting gaps between tissue donors and recipi…