CancerIQ

The Opportunity

Early detection of breast cancer influences a woman’s chance of survival. The traditional way this is done is through routine mammograms which women typically begin after the age of 40. While this method gives physicians the ability to diagnose patients who have cancer now, it can’t help determine who may be at high-risk for the disease in the future. That means many women who may have a genetic risk of breast cancer fall through the cracks.

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The Solution

In 2015, the OSF Innovation Partnerships team collaborated with CancerIQ, a startup out of MATTER in Chicago, Illinois, to pilot the company’s innovative, genetic screening tool that helps identify patients at high-risk for breast cancer. CancerIQ is an online, five-minute survey that flags vulnerable patients in real-time based on a short personal and family history questionnaire. The application gives providers the information they need to quickly investigate the possibility of hereditary cancer for a patient.

The Impact

The two-year pilot launched at OSF HealthCare Centers for Breast Health in Peoria resulted in the screening of more than 20,000 women, identifying over 5,000 women at high hereditary risk for cancer. The successful test of CancerIQ has led to the expansion of the screening tool to other OSF facilities as well as the early identification of patients with positive genetic mutations which drastically increase their chance of developing cancer.

“The benefit of CancerIQ is that it’s quick and easy to use for our patients and we, as clinicians, get the information we need to identify at-risk patients sooner.”

- Michele Settelmyer, an Advanced Practice Nurse and genetic specialist at the OSF HealthCare Centers for Breast Health in Peoria.

Identifying the Risk of Breast Cancer Sooner

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, but early detection can influence a woman’s chance of survival. One way this is done is through routine mammograms which women typically begin after the age of 40. Another way is through genetic testing, a medical assessment that can help determine a person’s chance of developing a genetic disorder in the future.

Despite the availability of genetic testing, one study found that 90-percent of women with a hereditary risk of breast cancer have yet to be identified because clinicians lack the tools and resources to easily and effectively evaluate patients. These are women who typically fall through the cracks.  

Knowing this risk, the OSF Innovation Partnerships team found a solution to ensure OSF HealthCare can offer a genetic cancer risk assessment to every patient who walks through the door.

Piloting CancerIQ

In 2015, the OSF Innovation Partnerships team collaborated with CancerIQ, a startup out of MATTER in Chicago, Illinois, to pilot the company’s innovative, genetic screening tool that helps detect patients at high-risk for breast cancer. CancerIQ is an online, short survey that flags vulnerable patients in real-time. The application gives providers the information they need to quickly investigate the possibility of hereditary cancer for a patient.

Women are encouraged to complete the CancerIQ assessment when they visit an OSF HealthCare facility for a screening mammogram. The online, secure survey asks a series of personal and family history questions designed to calculate risk for breast cancer. Patients receive results immediately. Those determined to be at high-risk are offered an appointment for genetic counseling and additional testing.

The two-year pilot launched at OSF HealthCare Centers for Breast Health in Peoria resulted in the screening of more than 20,000 women, identifying over 5,000 women at high hereditary risk for cancer.

Expansion Leads to Greater Impact

The successful test of CancerIQ led to the expansion of the screening tool to OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in April 2017, where more than 14,000 patients were screened. 3,300 of those were found to be high-risk. Over 400 of those patients met with a genetic specialist and 25 tested positive for a genetic mutation that drastically increases their chance of developing cancer.

Armed with this knowledge, patients facing a high-risk for breast cancer are given multiple options moving forward. This includes increased screenings, the possibility of taking a medication that can prevent cancer from emerging or referrals to a breast surgeon. All told, more than 300 patients in the Peoria area are getting the care they need to reduce and manage their cancer risk.

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois is the most recent facility to offer CancerIQ where more than 6,000 patients have been screened. 1,500 patients have been identified as high-risk. Over 320 patients have been seen by a genetic specialist and 24 have tested positive for a genetic mutation. 136 patients have had a change in their medical management to reduce their cancer risk.

Knowing the positive impact CancerIQ is having in identifying at high-risk for breast cancer, the screening tool is expected to be spread across the OSF HealthCare Ministry.