The ATHENA Breast Health Network (ATHENA) is partnership of the University of California (UC) breast cancer research and treatment centers that aims to revolutionize breast cancer care and molecular diagnostics by merging research, technology, financing and health care delivery to reduce the time needed to translate research findings into patient care. The founders recognize that low risk patients with breast malignancies are sometimes over-treated due to the lack of evidence supporting more conservative regimens. Therefore, ATHENA investigators and clinicians are building a repository of clinical and biological information, specimens, and developing analytic tools to conduct comparative effectiveness studies that will improve the application of treatment and intervention options. Ultimately, the information obtained will serve ongoing and future efforts to create rapid learning systems and provide safe and effective personalized breast cancer treatment. Funding for the CMTP’s role in ATHENA has been provided by a grant from the Safeway Foundation.
Additional ATHENA partners include the UC-Berkeley School of Public Health, the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UC-San Francisco, and the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) BIG Health Initiative. CMTP has facilitated the stakeholder engagement process for the project by bringing together experts in a Biomarker Stakeholder Advisory Group (BSAG) to provide feedback to inform research priorities, study designs, and dissemination and translation of study results.
CMTP has also developed for the ATHENA leadership team a business plan for sustainable partnerships between ATHENA and other health care stakeholders. CMTP has proposed the creation of the ATHENA Center for Stakeholder Engagement (ACSE). CMTP also advises ATHENA leadership on proposed CER projects to identify best treatments for women with low, medium and high-risk breast tumors. The results of these studies are intended to identify opportunities for women at low risk to receive less treatment without compromising outcomes, and to identify the best combinations of treatment modalities for women at higher risk of recurrence. The incremental value of information from biomarker panels will be analyzed to ensure that these tools are used efficiently in patient care settings.
For more information, contact Kathleen Blake.