UVM Mammography Research Expert Receives American Cancer Society Grant
Release Date: 07-10-2007
The American Cancer Society (ACS) announced that it has awarded a $213,500 scholar grant to the University of Vermont to support ongoing research aimed at improving skills for radiologist who read mammograms.
The two-year grant was awarded to Berta Geller, Ed.D., a research professor of family medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and a member of the Vermont Cancer Center at UVM and Fletcher Allen Health Care. Geller also serves as principal investigator of the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System, which is part of the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium -- a cooperative agreement between NCI and investigators at medical research centers across the country focused on evaluating the performance of screening mammography in community practice in the United States.
Debbie Dameron, ACS vice president for cancer control for Vermont, said the grant is made possible by contributions from thousands of women and men who have given generously to support the ACS’s ongoing research efforts.
“Mammograms are critical in the fight against breast cancer, and improving radiologists’ skills in reading mammograms is key to early detection,” Dameron said. “The American Cancer Society is pleased that such great work is being done on this front at the University of Vermont.”
“Though research data suggest that, overall, mammography achieves respectable levels of accuracy, these same data show a wide variation in interpretive skills,” said Geller. “At the extremes, this results in both significant rates of missed cancers and women being called back for additional testing, which reduces cost effectiveness, causes harm, and fails the expectations of women undergoing regular screening. We are developing better ways to measure accuracy and to provide continuing education to improve mammography interpretive skills. All Vermont radiologists who read mammograms will be invited to participate in this study.”
The ACS funds that support Geller's project come from the Horizon of Hope Campaign, sponsored by the Longaberger Company of Dresden, Ohio. The first year of her research was also funded by the Breast Cancer STamp Funds at the NCI.