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Health groups criticise EU funded breast cancer screening study as a “missed opportunity”

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 03 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m855
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London, UK

Critics have branded an EU funded trial looking at the potential for personalised breast cancer screening “a missed opportunity” for failing to fully evaluate the benefits and harms of screening.

Four groups concerned about women’s health and human rights in research—the UK charity Healthwatch, Belgium’s Group de Recherche et d’Action pour la Santé, the Italian epidemiologists and scientists of No Grazie, and the French group Cancer Rose—identified problems with the EU funded My Personal Breast Screening (MyPeBS) trial, which aims to show non-inferiority to current national screening. Their criticisms are outlined in a letter in the Journal International de Médicine.1

MyPeBS involves 85 000 women aged 40 to 70 in Belgium, France, Israel, Italy, and the UK randomised to breast screening according to their personalised risk or to their national standard screening programme.

In the intervention group, women’s personal risk is estimated using factors such as breast density, genetic profile, personal and family history, and age. Those deemed low risk will receive a mammogram at the end of the study after four years while average …

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