Horizon BCBSNJ seeking women for new breast cancer study

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced it is seeking 5,000 members to participate in the Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of Risk (WISDOM) Study. 

The study will examine whether routine annual screening or a personalized screening schedule is more effective when screening for breast cancer. It is spearheaded by Athena Breast Health Network and a group of breast cancer experts, health care providers, researchers and patient advocates.

“Breast cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death in New Jersey and early detection is the key to successful treatment, yet the most recent data shows that one in five women age 50-74 living here did not have a mammogram,” Thomas Graf, MD, Horizon's vice president and chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement. “Improving breast cancer screening protocols can help us close that gap in care and focus on reaching women with a higher risk profile.” 

The researchers are looking to enroll a total of 100,000 individuals for the study. At present, nearly 19,000 individuals have enrolled.

“By supporting the development of better screening guidelines, we can give our physician partners a better tool to help their patients, help women avoid unnecessary tests and procedures, and lower the total cost of care for our members,” Kevin Conlin, Horizon president and CEO, said in the same statement.

Women between the ages of 40 and 74 years who have never had breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ or a mastectomy are eligible to participate in the WISDOM Study. The cohort will be randomly assigned to undergo either a routine annual schedule or a personalized screening schedule. If they prefer, participants can also select their own group.

All participants must commit to the five-year duration of the study.