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Pink October : The MyPeBS study

Press release (20/10/2022) 

The MyPeBS Study : « Advancing knowledge about breast cancer screening is essential»

October 20, 2022 – MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Cancer Screening) is a clinical study which aims to evaluate a breast cancer screening strategy based on individual risk. The clinical study, coordinated by Unicancer (France) involves 28 partners in 6 countries (Belgium, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel, Spain). In Belgium it is conducted in 11 hospitals and is coordinated by the Jules Bordet Institute, part of the University Hospital of Brussels. The recruitment phase of the study, which has been ongoing since 2019, has been extended until June 2023 in order to continue recruiting women, whose commitment is essential to obtain results.

The current standard screening is effective but has limitations
Breast cancer screening programs in the European Union Member States offer standard screening for all women aged from 50 until 69 (or 74 depending on the country) based on a single risk factor: age. However, other risk factors are involved in the development of breast cancer: family history, personal history, lifestyle and genetics. While this standard screening strategy has a definite advantage, that of early detection leading to less extensive treatment and a lower risk of death, it also has disadvantages: over-diagnosis (finding and treating tumors that would not have been a problem), interval cancers (cancers that have not been detected between 2 screening examinations), false positives (women are called back for further examinations that do not reveal any cancer).

MyPeBS, towards personalised breast cancer screening
The MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Cancer Screening) study aims to overcome these limitations by proposing a European-wide clinical study to evaluate the benefits of personalised breast cancer screening. In this context, the frequency and modalities of screening are adapted to the individual risk of each woman. The purpose of this new strategy is to increase the effectiveness of screening, while reducing its inconvenience. The results of this study will be used to propose European recommendations to improve organised screening. The study, launched in 2019, already has more than 35,000 women engaged in the 6 participating countries. Recruitment of volunteers continues until June next year, with the hope of recruiting a total of 56,000 women in the 6 participating countries.

Why should you participate in this study?
The participants in the MyPeBS study are certainly the ones who can best talk about the reasons why they chose to participate in MyPeBS. In this context, some of them wished to testify anonymously, answering the question: «Why did you choose to participate in MyPeBS? » «To advance medical science, but also to be able to benefit from the new knowledge that the study will provide about the usefulness and effectiveness of screening. «In order to take an active and concrete part in the development and improvement of breast cancer screening, and thus to detect and treat earlier when necessary, and not to make people undergo unnecessary examinations when they do not have to». «As this study will take place in several countries, we will have access to a large genetic diversity to draw conclusions. In short, by participating, I am contributing to the progress of medicine, I am well monitored myself and many lives can be saved in the future. »

Point of view of a participating doctor
In addition to the testimony of a participant mentioned above, it seems important to know the point of view of a doctor participating in the study. When asked «What benefits do you see in your patients included in the MyPeBS study? » the answer is obvious: «One of the big benefits is the awareness of screening. Patients who were not screening regularly or not screening at all are motivated and follow the proposed program well, regardless of the group they are randomised to»
One of the reasons he recommends this study to his patients is because of the progress of the research: «We recommend this study to all patients who are eligible. We frequently recommend it to patients who are not convinced by the current screening system, those who want to advance research. » Finally, as principal investigator, his involvement in the study was obvious: «This is the first study in Belgium that really challenges breast cancer screening. The inclusion of genetic data in the calculation of risk and screening frequency is innovative and promising. As our center has been specialising in screening for 30 years, it was an obvious choice for us to participate in such a project. »

This project is financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 755394. In Belgium, it is also supported by the Foundation Against Cancer.

Press contact
Press officer : Gabrielle Vanhoudenhove
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- Tel : +32 (0)2 555 83 95

About H.U.B
The Hôpital Universitaire de Bruxelles (H.U.B) is the academic hospital of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), which unites the Jules Bordet institute, the Erasme Hospital and the Queen Fabiola Children’s University Hospital (HUDERF) since 2021.
As an international reference center, located in the heart of the Brussels Region, the H.U.B offers high quality general, oncological and pediatric care.
This excellent care, accessible to all, is enriched and sustained by a dual approach of scientific research and teaching for the caregivers of tomorrow.
In 2022, the H.U.B. is composed of more than 6,000 employees who share the following values: Interest of the patient, Team spirit, Commitment, Solidarity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the principle of Free enquiry.