News Release

November 22, 2011

CONTACT: Holly Auer
(O) 215-349-5659
(C) 215-200-2313

Perelman School of Medicine

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Penn Medicine Physicians Receive Five-Year, $7.5 Million Grant for Breast Cancer Screening Research from the National Cancer Institute

(PHILADELPHIA) – University of Pennsylvania researchers have received a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to create the Penn Center for Innovation in Personalized Breast Cancer Screening (PCIPS), dedicated to studying emerging methods of breast cancer detection. The NCI funding will allow the team, led by Perelman School of Medicine faculty Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, chief of the division of Internal Medicine and associate director of Outcomes and Delivery in the Abramson Cancer Center, and Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, Matthew J. Wilson Professor of Radiology, to use clinical, genomic and imaging information to guide the use of novel, personalized breast cancer screening strategies that will reduce false positive rates to improve outcomes.” The research, which also involves researchers from medical oncology, psychiatry, and colleagues in the Annenberg School for Communication and the Wharton School, will be conducted through August 2016.

PCIPS research is three-fold. First, they will aim to improve breast cancer screening by creating a new “breast complexity index” to predict individual screening outcomes. Second, the team will also compare the effectiveness of new imaging technology, including digital breast tomosynthesis compared to conventional mammography. Third, they will create new strategies for communicating individual estimates of benefit and risk of alternative screening methods to better inform patients and health care providers.
Along with these three projects, the Center will study outcome data of a diverse group of 74,000 women who undergo breast cancer screening at six sites in Penn Medicine’s integrated health network. The center will use resources in breast imaging, primary care, communication, computer science, biostatistics, health services research, bioinformatics, medical oncology, cancer genetics and clinical leadership to advance the breast cancer screening process and encourage collaboration through NCI’s Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) network. 



Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.