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CancerIQ Co-founder Receives Medal of Honor for Achievements in Breast Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

CancerIQ Co-founder Receives Medal of Honor for Achievements in Breast Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

PR Newswire

Dr. Olopade acceptance of Ellis Island Medal of Honor coincides with publication of her team's landmark study on breast cancer risk in women of African and Caribbean descent

CHICAGO, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- CancerIQ, a best-in-class precision health platform for cancer prevention, early detection and treatment, is proud to announce that its co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade was awarded the 2024 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her achievements in the field of cancer genetics and genomics. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, one of the most prestigious awards in the country, recognizes Americans of immigrant descent who have made significant contributions to society.

"I am really proud to work on a problem that is solvable. It is no longer acceptable to describe cancer disparities when we can use science and technology to save more lives," said Dr. Olopade.

Dr. Olopade, a board certified internist and medical oncologist, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, associate dean of Global Health, and director for the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at The University of Chicago, was among 88 medalists honored this year, including NYSE Chair Sharon Bowen; Whoopi Goldberg; and Montefiore Medicine President and CEO Dr. Philip Ozuah. Other past medalists include Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel and Malala Yousufzai, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks and eight former presidents of the United States. Their names are listed in the Congressional Record.

"I'm so proud of my mom for her unwavering commitment to understanding the root cause of breast cancer disparities in women of African and Caribbean descent. Her research proves that cancer disparities go beyond socioeconomic differences and health history to something deeper, beneath the skin — they're also genetic," said Feyi Ayodele, co-founder and CEO of CancerIQ. "That makes the work CancerIQ is doing to ensure African American women receive comprehensive cancer risk assessment, genetic testing and screening to support cancer prevention and early detection critically important."

Despite higher incidence of aggressive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and breast cancer diagnosis before age 50, African American women are less likely to receive genetic counseling and testing than white women, according to the American Cancer Society. Women of African ancestry are also historically underrepresented in the studies used to build polygenic risk scores (PRS), and because African populations are more genetically diverse, these models do not accurately predict cancer risk for African American women.

Landmark study on breast cancer risk in women of African descent

Dr. Olopade's latest research, the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of breast cancer in women of African descent conducted to date, identifies new genetic variants that have been shown to markedly reduce disparities in risk assessment models. Findings from this study were recently published by a team of scientists, including Dr. Olopade, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Genetics.

The study represents a watershed moment for population diversity in breast cancer genetics research. The meta-analysis of 26 studies included genetic information from over 40,000 individuals of African and Caribbean descent, enabling researchers to not only identify three new genes associated with increased risk of TNBC, but also develop a breast cancer risk model with significantly improved performance for African American women. Current PRS are about 57% accurate in predicting cancer risk for women of African descent, compared to 63% for women of European, Asian or Hispanic ancestry. The research team showed their dataset can help improve breast cancer PRS accuracy to 60% for African American women.

"I am really proud to work on a problem that is solvable. It is no longer acceptable to describe cancer disparities when we can use science and technology to save more lives," said Dr. Olopade. "I am honored and humbled to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and I am truly grateful to my teammates at both University of Chicago and CancerIQ who join me every day in the effort to advance cancer care for high risk individuals."

CancerIQ is designed to extend the reach of cancer genetics providers and democratize access to life-saving, genetically informed cancer care. The platform is proven to double the number of patients genetics teams can see, while enhancing cancer risk assessment and improving overall cancer screening compliance rates. CancerIQ has recently published research showing its platform quadruples genetic testing uptake for non-Hispanic Black patients and triples it for white patients, both reducing disparities and improving overall genetic testing rates.

About CancerIQ

CancerIQ is the only cancer-focused precision health platform that empowers healthcare providers to detect cancer earlier and prevent it altogether across all patient populations. Integrated directly into real-time EHR workflows, CancerIQ makes it easy to gather comprehensive patient data, automatically map it to the latest evidence-based guidelines, and expand access to personalized care plans, cutting-edge clinical solutions, and genomic innovations. CancerIQ co-founder and CEO Feyi Ayodele was recently named a Modern Healthcare Innovator for pioneering this transformative approach to cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. Learn more at canceriq.com, follow CancerIQ on X or LinkedIn.

Contact

Malvina Kefalas

mkefalas@canceriq.com

(516) 503-8610

Media Contact

Malvina Kefalas, CancerIQ, 1 5165038610, mkefalas@canceriq.com, www.canceriq.com 

Twitter, LinkedIn

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SOURCE CancerIQ



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