HealthWatch has joined a cross-European challenge to an EU-funded clinical trial over concerns about inevitable and avoidable harms to women.
We have been at the forefront of raising concerns about the harms of breast screening programmes and flawed clinical trials. MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Screening) is an international randomized clinical trial which will compare personalised risk-based breast screening with a control group undergoing current standard planned screening tests, age 40 to 70. The six-year trial will involve 85,000 women in France, Belgium, Italy, Israel and the UK.
Mass mammography screening for breast cancer for women aged 40 or 50 and over is currently implemented in many countries - including the UK for women aged 50-70. But evidence of efficacy is disputed, and women are expected to consent without being fully informed on the risks. In the case of MyPeBS, studying stratified screening on personal risk factors may be an interesting project, however, it starts from the assumption that mass breast screening is beneficial - best evidence says it is not - and does not take into account the risks that healthy women face by taking part, nor are they fully informed of these risks even though excellent evidence-based decision aids are available.
HealthWatch has joined with three other groups who share concerns about women's health and human rights in research: Belgium's Group de Recherche et d'Action pour la Sante (GRAS), the Italian epidemiologists and scientists of NoGrazie, and the French group Cancer Rose.
Read the letter to MyPEBS here.