Department of Defense
United States Army Medical Research and Development Command
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Released: July 20, 2023

CDMRP-Funded Research Contributed to Test Included in the Defense Health Agency’s Pilot Program

The Biotheranostics Breast Cancer Index is TRICARE-approved, adding to the available testing for Service Members and their Families

FORT DETRICK, Md. – This month, the Defense Health Agency announced an expansion of a genetic testing pilot program, including the Biotheranostics Breast Cancer Index. CDMRP funded research contributed to the development of this prognostic testing now available for Service Members and their Families through TRICARE.

“CDMRP funded a significant portion of the research behind the Breast Cancer Index, and our organization is extremely proud to learn that this predictive testing is included as part of the recent additions to the TRICARE pilot program, making medical advancements more accessible for Service Members and their Families,” Col. Sarah B. Goldman, director of CDMRP, said. “This TRICARE-approved test will help guide treatment options to ensure patients receive the care they need.”

According to the Biotheranostics website, the Breast Cancer Index test assists patients and doctors in making critical decisions regarding treatment plans for early-stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Specifically, the test evaluates a patient’s initial tumor sample to provide two key pieces of information, including whether an additional five years of anti-estrogen therapy is likely to help reduce the patient’s risk of the cancer returning as metastatic disease, and the patient’s individual risk of metastatic recurrence between five and ten years after initial diagnosis.

Dr. Dennis Sgroi, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, led two research efforts contributing to the development of the Breast Cancer Index with support from an FY03 Idea Award and FY09 Idea Expansion Award funded by CDMRP’s Breast Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sgroi validated biomarkers that correlated with relapse-free survival and tumor grade, leading to a risk assessment test termed, the Breast Cancer Index, which evaluates the likelihood of early and late recurrence, as well as benefit from extended endocrine therapy.

The expansion of the TRICARE pilot program includes five new components aimed at increasing the level of diagnostics and care for people with breast, blood and prostate cancer, as well as skin lesions and questionable moles. Established in 2013, the pilot program was created by the Department of Defense to help cover certain genetic tests not covered under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory process, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests, used to determine an individual’s risk for breast cancer. Currently, the program covers more than 45 laboratory-developed tests.

For more information about the CDMRP, its research programs, previous awardees, as well as research highlights, please visit the website at

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Last updated Thursday, July 20, 2023