Review: The ATHENA Breast Health Network

Breast Cancer, Cancer Websites — By on October 3, 2009 at 8:11 am

athenabreasthealthThe ATHENA Breast Health Network is a large-scale demonstration project among five University of California health centers, designed to revolutionize breast cancer care by more efficiently merging research, technology, financing and health care delivery in a way that reduces the time needed to translate research findings into patient care.

ATHENA will integrate clinical care and research to drive innovation in prevention, screening, treatment and management of breast cancer.

This project will improve survival and reduce suffering from breast cancer by accelerating research discovery and the time it takes to implement innovations in clinical practice.

ATHENA will initially recruit 150,000 women throughout California who will be screened for breast cancer and followed over a period of several decades.

It is expected that this rich database of information will shape breast cancer care in the same way the renowned Framingham heart study changed the care of patients with heart disease.

ATHENA will:
Track approximately 150,000 women at the time of mammographic screening and 50,000 with clinical symptoms of breast cancer.

Women will be followed through screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

The size and diversity of the population is unprecedented and will enable testing of the robustness of the new model.

Implement a comprehensive informatics strategy that includes innovative tools to collect, analyze and distribute data in real time from and among all stakeholders.

Innovative web-based tools will gather information from, and provide synthesized data back to women and their providers.

Physicians and patients will partner to create and share summary records, and patients will have the ability/control to contribute their data to a patient-reported registry. De-identified data will be accessible to all to investigate.

Create an unparalleled biospecimen and data repository to fuel research and innovation in screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

This will include over 1 million mammograms, 60,000 biopsy specimens, 15,000 cancer specimens, and up to 400,000 serial blood specimens.

Develop and pilot alternate payment strategies that are tied to higher quality and more cost effective use of resources for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Bring together industry, academia, government and not-for-profit organizations.

An unprecedented collaboration among the University of California (UC) system will include: the five UC Cancer Centers; the UC Berkeley School of Public Health; The Institute for Health Policy Studies at UC San Francisco

The project will be conducted in collaboration with BIG Health – a broad- based initiative from the National Institutes of Health to develop common tools and platforms for research and care.

It will become a model for public-private partnerships to speed delivery and approval of new diagnostics and effective tailored therapies.

Visit: ATHENA Breast Health Network and share your comments and opinions below with the community.

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