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Oguzhan Alagoz
September 23, 2020

Alagoz to tailor breast cancer screening guidelines for women with diabetes

Written By: Tom Ziemer

Oguzhan Alagoz, the Proctor and Gamble Bascom Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is part of a new five-year, $9.1 million collaborative grant from the National Institutes of Health to use simulation modeling to examine precision breast cancer treatments and inform clinical policies.

The project for the National Cancer Institute is a continued collaboration between modeling groups at six institutions that comprise the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) working group: UW-Madison, Stanford University, Georgetown University, MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Amy Trentham-Dietz, a professor of population health sciences in the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and longtime collaborator with Alagoz, is the coordinator for this latest project.

As one of eight principal investigators on the grant, Alagoz will use modeling to develop breast cancer screening guidelines for women with diabetes. Existing screening guidelines don’t account for the prevalence of chronic diseases—roughly 60% of adults in the United States have at least one chronic condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—or their influence on breast cancer risk and outcomes.

“I want to develop more tailored, more risk factor-specific guidelines,” Alagoz says.

Alagoz will work with Vincent Cryns, an endocrinologist and professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and draw on data from existing studies on the relationship between diabetes and breast cancer, including a long-term study on a diabetes prevention program.

“The problem is nobody synthesizes data to come up with the impact on policy,” he says. “Nobody puts all these pieces together of the puzzle and tells you what should be the recommendation, and that’s what my study’s going to do.”