2012 Awards: Medical Advancement Champion For Ground-Breaking Research Advances
Dr. Wendie Berg
Professor of Radiology
University of Pittsburgh
Congratulations to Dr. Wendie Berg, Professor of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Berg’s groundbreaking research demonstrated the benefits of MRI and ultrasound in improving early detection.
Help us continue funding revolutionary breast cancer research:
Acceptance Remarks from Dr. Berg
I am deeply honored to receive this award. The Avon Foundation for Women has had a huge impact on breast cancer screening research. When I was working to start a multicenter trial to examine whether adding ultrasound to mammography could detect additional cancers in women with dense breast tissue, the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (funded by the National Cancer Institute) was enthusiastic about the trial but could not commit enough funds to do a study that included enough women to give a definitive answer to this important question. The Avon Foundation stepped up and more than doubled the funds available, which allowed the trial to go forward. Over the course of the trial, when it became clear that we had a unique opportunity to directly compare ultrasound with breast MRI, the Avon Foundation was again there to provide supplemental funding.
What impact has funding from the Avon Foundation had?
Our study proved that ultrasound screening does detect early invasive breast cancers not seen on mammography alone, and that it can be performed consistently using techniques we standardized. Our study provided valuable evidence which is now guiding discussions of how to screen women with dense breasts across America and, indeed, around the world.
In Austria, the government recently decided to include screening ultrasound in their newly-designed breast cancer screening program, in large part because of our results. I am also proud to say that our paper on the trial results was named the most influential paper in radiology for the year. You all made that possible.
Over the past decade, this trial has been like a fourth child in my life. The Avon Foundation for Women has been a tremendous partner, responsive to needs that made the research successful, and making sure that our work would not just lead to good science but would truly influence the lives of women. Again, thank you so much for this award.