Effectiveness of Swiss breast cancer prevention program "donna"

Evaluation of the number and types of interval cancers as a quality control of the mammography screening program "donna"

Project description

We aim to determine the number and types, stages, date of diagnosis of interval cancers in the mammography screening program “donna” since the start of the program, from 2010 to 2019 in the cantons St.Gallen and Graubünden, using combined data of the cancer registry of Eastern Switzerland and the mammography screening program "donna". The original screening mammographies of patients diagnosed later with an interval cancer will be reviewed by expert radiologists and diagnosis software. Goal of the project is quality control and improvement of the screening program.

European guidelines for breast cancer screening describe interval cancers as an important quality assurance indicator for mammography screening programs, a measure also accepted by the screening program “donna”, but so far not yet systematically analyzed within the program. Interval cancers are larger in size than screen detected cancers, are histologically more aggressive, more often triple negative and the women have a shorter survival.  Therefore, the reduction of interval cancers is a reasonable objective in order to improve the quality of a screening program and the expected benefits to the participants. 

Starting in 2023, we evaluate for the first time retrospectively all interval cancers of the “donna” program in the cantons of St.Gallen and Grisons. Based on these results we aim, by applying various methods, to reduce the number of interval cancers in the screening program, and thus increase the outcome quality for their participants.

Project team

Prof. Dr. Alexander Geissler, Dr. David Kuklinski, Dr. Justus Vogel, Jonas Subelack

Cooperation partner

Krebsliga Ostschweiz

Funding Source

Krebsliga Ostschweiz


2 year (01.06.2023 – 01.06.2025)