Krystyna Barnard
October 30, 2020

Lucy Spalluto, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Radiology and Vice Chair of Health Equity, was recently awarded the Developmental Research Program Award for her project, “Breast cancer Risk Assessment: achieving Equity (BRAVE) – Strategy Development and Pilot Testing,” as part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Breast Cancer.

The award resulted in $30,000 in direct funding for a one-year project that will be performed in partnership with women’s health researchers from Nashville-based Meharry Medical College. Funds will be applied towards developing, refining and testing strategies to implement breast cancer risk assessment in the public health setting.

“I am incredibly grateful to the continued support of VICC,” said Dr. Spalluto. “This award provides much needed support in our work toward achieving equitable breast cancer outcomes in and beyond our community.”

The project builds on insights Dr. Spalluto generated from a separate – but related – study,  “Breast cancer Risk Assessment: achieVing Equity in Breast cancer outcomes in the public health setting (BRAVE), ” which was awarded $50,000 in funding through VICC’s Donna and Frank Delfino Caring Hearts Fund earlier this year.

Ultimately, the goal of the BRAVE study is to reduce breast cancer disparities among a racially and socio-economically diverse population of women through implementation of breast cancer risk assessment in the public health setting of the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program. Once implemented, providers will be able to inform patients of their personal breast cancer risk, and offer guideline-based early and supplemental screening for those considered high risk for breast cancer.

“This important research will help to address existing disparities in breast cancer outcomes,” said Dr. Spalluto. “The resources available through the VICC SPORE in Breast Cancer and support of the SPORE leadership, including Drs. Pietenpol and Mayer, provides our research team with the opportunity to address disparities in breast cancer in and beyond the state of Tennessee.”