Cancer-Risk Analysis Program Goes Public

DALLAS - April 27, 1999 - A UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas physician-scientist is offering his interactive, comprehensive computer program for breast-cancer risk assessment at no charge to health professionals providing breast care.

Dr. David Euhus, assistant professor of surgical oncology, designed the user-friendly personal computer-based program called "CancerGene," which will collect a family history, draw a pedigree and display probabilities of developing breast cancer at various ages as well as probabilities of inheriting an abnormal breast-cancer-susceptibility gene. Euhus co-directs the Mary L. Brown Breast Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Program in the Southwestern Center for Breast Care and is the George and Carol Poston Professor in Breast Cancer Research.

Asked why there is no charge for the computer program, he said, "We're giving it away because it is useful for assisting women who are concerned about their breast-cancer risk. Does there need to be a better reason?"

The program leads breast-care providers through a structured on-screen interview that collects a detailed family history and then displays probabilities in graphs and tables. The outputs include: age-specific probability of developing breast cancer, age-specific probability of developing ovarian cancer and probability of having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. The program employs several models, including Duke University Institute of Statistics and Decisions Sciences' BRCAPRO.

The user also is able to see if the program can suggest another cancer syndrome applicable to the family history by simply clicking on the appropriate button. In addition, "CancerGene" has an easily accessible glossary of cancer syndromes.


Contact: Heather Stieglitz
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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