What they really need is a guide -- someone to hold their hand -- as they are making these decisions. That is what we will provide at BeWell.com. As treatments are becoming more individualized and targeted, women need to understand that they have options, get support, and become their own advocate.
New York, NY (Vocus) January 15, 2009
Genomic Health, a company making individualized cancer treatment the standard of care, has joined America’s leading physicians to launch BeWell.com, the first expert-guided online social network centered on health and wellness. This new social network enables consumers to join communities hosted by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Susan Love, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and other leading experts.
BeWell.com intends to elevate the quality of online health discussions by having physicians weigh in on conversations and help guide consumers to accurate information. Genomic Health, the company that developed Oncotype DX®, the first and only multi-gene expression test commercially available that has clinical evidence validating its ability to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as recurrence in early-stage breast cancer, will sponsor the breast cancer community and provide unique tools to support women and their caregivers as they face treatment decisions for breast cancer.
According to a recent study 56 percent of American adults -- more than 122 million people -- sought information about a personal health concern, with the internet the most popular source. Millions of people use social networking websites regularly, with 64 million U.S. adults currently sharing advice online. BeWell.com engages this medium to share information and to facilitate peer-to-peer consumer conversations with the added benefit of expert-guided dialogue.
According to Dr. Susan Love, author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book (called the “bible for women with breast cancer” by The New York Times), “BeWell.com addresses the need women have when newly diagnosed to find support from other women, as well as breast cancer experts. While the Breast Book remains a tremendous resource for women, the ability to access experts and peers will take the decision making process to the next level by giving women support in communities throughout the process and beyond. Women have a number of decision points and options regarding their breast cancer treatment,” said Love. “What they really need is a guide -- someone to hold their hand -- as they are making these decisions. That is what we will provide at BeWell.com. As treatments are becoming more individualized and targeted, women need to understand that they have options, get support, and become their own advocate.”
“The vision of BeWell.com is aligned with Genomic Health’s mission to empower newly diagnosed women with information that will allow them to make personalized breast cancer treatment decisions in partnership with their physicians,” said Kim Popovits, chief executive officer and president at Genomic Health. “We know women with breast cancer have a strong desire to connect and learn from others who have faced the same disease and treatment decisions, and have provided them with a forum to do that at MyTreatmentDecision.com. We believe that the expert contact and guidance from Dr. Susan Love and others provided through Bewell.com will add an important enhancement to women's online discussions about breast cancer issues."
Oncotype DX analyzes the activity of 21 genes within a woman’s tumor to calculate an individual, numerical assessment (or Recurrence Score® result) that predicts how much benefit that woman is likely to get from chemotherapy. Additionally, the test predicts the likelihood of whether or not the patient’s cancer will spread -- or recur -- within ten years of the initial diagnosis. Historically, doctors have used patient age and characteristics of the breast cancer tumor, such as size, grade and lymph node status, to help guide treatment decisions. These characteristics are still important, but the additional information provided by the Oncotype DX test can help physicians and patients determine an appropriate treatment plan based on the individual characteristics of that patient’s tumor.
BeWell.com offers women access to over 20 leading health experts from a variety of disciplines. Physicians and health experts hosting communities include:
- Robert Abel, Jr., M.D. – ophthalmologist, author, and former clinical faculty at Thomas Jefferson University
- Byllye Avery, M.Ed. – founder and president of the Avery Institute for Social Change and founder of the National Black Women’s Health Imperative
- Alice Domar, Ph.D. – stress and reproductive health expert, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School
- Christina Economos, Ph.D. – assistant professor and chair in childhood nutrition at Tufts University and leader of the anti-obesity initiative “Shape Up Somerville”
- Laura Jana, M.D. – pediatrician, author, co-founder and former vice president of the Dr. Spock Company
- Loretta LaRoche – international stress management and humor expert and adjunct faculty member of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Boston
- Marianne Legato, M.D. – internist, cardiac specialist, author, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University, and founder and director of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine
- M. Ellen Mahoney, M.D. – breast surgeon, co-founder of the Community Breast Health Project in Palo Alto, and former clinical faculty at Stanford University
- JoAnn E. Manson, M.D. – internist, endocrinologist, author, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School
- Saralyn Mark, M.D. – endocrinologist, geriatrician, and first senior medical advisor, Office of Women’s Health, women’s health specialist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Merville Marshall, M.D. – endocrinologist, author, founder and president of the Endocrine Institute in White Plains, NY
- David Nash, M.D. – internist, founding dean at the Jefferson School of Health Policy and Population Health, and professor and chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University
- Miriam Nelson, Ph.D. – director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University, author of eight books in the StrongWomen™ series
- P. Michael Peterson, Ed.D. – professor and director of the Graduate Health Promotion Program at the University of Delaware
- Hope Ricciotti, M.D. – author and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School
- Darshak Sanghavi, M.D. – author and chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
- Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D. – author, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, Seattle, sexuality and relationship expert for PerfectMatch.com
- Jeri Sedlar – author, entrepreneur, speaker, senior advisor to the Conference Board on the Mature Workforce, and delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
- Janet Taylor, M.D., M.P.H. – clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University – Harlem Hospital Center, consumer health strategist, multicultural communications expert, and commentator on Today
- Susan Troyan, M.D. – breast cancer surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center and instructor at Harvard Medical School
BeWell.com was founded by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Dr. Susan Love and Elizabeth Browning, CEO, LLuminari, Inc. to empower consumers worldwide to join online communities with leading health experts. Studies have found that a significant percent of online health information shared peer to peers in blogs is inaccurate. BeWell.com intends to engage leading physicians and health experts in online conversations to steer consumers to better information and resources, and to enable them to form their own communities with friends and family.
The experts on BeWell.com were selected by Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Susan Love for their reputations as leaders in their respective fields, as well as their ability to translate complex medical information clearly to consumers. The BeWell.com experts are authors, columnists for leading magazines, and frequent media guests commenting on important health news. BeWell.com is a division of LLuminari, Inc. and is headquartered in New York City.
About Genomic Health/Oncotype DX®:
Genomic Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: GHDX) is a life science company focused on the development and commercialization of genomic-based clinical laboratory services for cancer that allow physicians and patients to make individualized treatment decisions. In 2004, Genomic Health launched its first test, Oncotype DX®, the only multi-gene expression test commercially available that has clinical evidence validating its ability to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as recurrence in early-stage breast cancer.
Additionally, the test report provides quantitative scores for certain individual genes. Oncotype DX has been extensively evaluated in multiple independent studies involving more than 4,000 breast cancer patients, including a large validation study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and a chemotherapy benefit study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. To date, 7,500 physicians have ordered more than 75,000 tests, and health plans covering approximately 90 percent of U.S. insured lives provide reimbursement for Oncotype DX through contracts, agreements or policy decisions. Both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend the use of Oncotype DX for patients with node- negative breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone- receptor positive. Genomic Health was founded in 2000 and is located in Redwood City, California. For more information, please visit http://www.genomichealth.com.
BeWell.com: Cheryl Heiks
CHeiks (at) BeWell.com
Genomic Health: Emily Faucette
efaucette (at) genomichealth.com