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Personalized Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Study

This new $15.2-million project is studying how personalized risk assessment, including genetic testing, may help lead to the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

Researchers will study a large cohort of women ages 40 to 69 years to calculate their risk level and provide them with information to make an informed choice about breast screening.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in Canadian women. Women face a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Current breast screening recommendations are based primarily on age. Screening also tends to use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Benefits of Personalized Risk Assessment

Personalized risk assessment using a combination of genomic profiling and other breast cancer risk factors would:

  • allow tailored prevention and screening recommendations based on individual risk to improve the balance of benefits and harms
  • enable earlier detection and treatment of breast cancer, providing health and socio-economic benefits

Participating Research Organizations

The study is being conducted by researchers associated with the following organizations:

  • Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)
  • Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • University Health Network (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
  • Sinai Health System
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • University of Ottawa
  • McGill University
  • Université Laval
  • University of Cambridge
  • Moffitt Cancer Centre
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Queensland Institute of Medical Research
  • Universities of Harvard, Utah, College London, Manchester, Leiden, Radboud and Cologne


This study is funded by the Genome Canada Large Scale Applied Research Project Competition in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The following organizations have provided co-funding:

  • Ontario Research Fund
  • Génome Québec
  • Québec Ministry of Economic, Science and Innovation
  • CHU de Québec Foundation
  • CHU de Québec – Université Laval Research Center
  • Québec Breast Cancer Foundation

Who is Eligible for the Study

To participate in this study, your patients must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a woman 40 to 69 years old
  • Have had a mammogram (X-ray examination of the breast) at one of the following locations:
    • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    • Unity Health Toronto (St. Michael’s Hospital)
    • Grand River Hospital (Freeport Site)
    • University Health Network (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
    • Hamilton Health Sciences (Juravinski Hospital)
    • Kingston Health Sciences Centre (Kingston General Hospital)
  • Never have had genetic counselling and/or genetic testing for breast cancer
  • Never have had cancer of the breast, ovary or pancreas

For More Information

If you have specific questions about the Personalized Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Study, please get in touch with us. If you have a patient who meets the eligibility criteria and is interested in participating, ask her to contact us:

Phone: 416-217-1226
Toll-free: 1-833-781-6046

This study is being conducted in English only.

Resources for Healthcare Providers

Information for Healthcare Providers - Download this information sheet to help answer questions from your patients invited to take part in the PERSPECTIVE study.

Understanding Your Breast Cancer Risk Assessment - We send this 6-page booklet to women participating in the PERSPECTIVE study when they receive their risk letters (see sample letters).

Sample Letters

We send study participants a letter after their assessment to let them know their 10-year breast cancer risk estimate and to propose an action plan based on their level of risk. For details, see these sample letters.

Average Risk Letter
Average or Higher than Average Risk with Family History Letter
Higher Than Average Risk Letter
High Risk Letter