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Ongoing Collaborations: American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Breast Cancer Stamp Funds

In 2006, the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded funds for "AIM: Assessing and Improving Mammography" to the six NCI-funded BCSC sites and the BCSC-affiliated site at the New Mexico Mammography Project (please see more details on the funding plan below). The purpose of this project is to use the BCSC’s unique strengths as a research resource to examine on factors that influence accuracy in the interpretation of mammograms. Findings will contribute to the development of guidance and tools for use in the initial and on-going training of interpreting physicians. These resources also will be used to provide ongoing feedback to interpreting physicians, thereby helping them maintain their skills.

ACS, NCI program staff, and BCSC investigators have worked together to incorporate into the priorities from the 2005 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Improving Breast Imaging Quality Standards.

The specific aims of the project include:

  • Determine the effects of radiologists’ mammographic interpretative volume on clinical interpretive performance, controlling for patient, physician, and facility factors that influence interpretive performance;
  • Create assessment test sets that consist of representative screening mammograms from community practice to assess radiologists’ interpretative skills and determine if performance on assessment test sets is associated with performance in clinical practice; and
  • Develop and test two interventions designed to improve radiologists’ mammographic interpretative skills.

Funding Structure

The ACS has dedicated more than $1.5M for this descriptive research effort, and NCI has contributed over $1M toward this initiative from the Breast Cancer Stamp Funds. While the project will last three years, NCI is supporting the first year of research through administrative supplements to the six active BCSC sites. ACS will support the second and third year of the project as well as the BCSC-affiliated site at the University of New Mexico for year one.

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