University of Vermont Cancer Center Member Profile

    Brian Sprague, PhD

    UVM Cancer Center Cancer Population Science (CPS) Program Co-Leader
    Director of the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System
    Professor, Surgery
    Professor, Biochemistry

    Full Member
    Academic Interests
    Dr. Sprague is a cancer epidemiologist whose research primarily includes observational studies of breast cancer risk, detection, and survivorship. He leads the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System (VBCSS;, a research and quality assurance program that collects and analyzes clinical data associated with breast imaging at radiology facilities in Vermont. He collaborates with clinical colleagues at UVM and a national network of breast cancer researchers within the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium ( Dr. Sprague's recent work focuses on generating evidence to inform risk-based breast cancer screening strategies, through the development of risk prediction models for screening outcomes, evaluation of breast imaging screening and diagnostic performance according to women's risk characteristics, and the identification of novel prognostic markers for early-stage breast cancer. For example, he helped develop a risk calculator ( that estimates a woman's risk of an advanced stage breast cancer based on her clinical risk factors and how often she undergoes mammography screening. His research has also shown that breast cancer screening with digital breast tomosynthesis has lower false positive rates and higher early stage cancer detection rates than conventional digital mammography. Current specific areas of investigation include the performance of supplemental ultrasound screening for women with dense breasts, the effectiveness of artificial intelligence algorithms in breast cancer screening, and the development of new breast cancer risk prediction models for women diagnosed with benign breast disease.

    Other Titles, Distinctions and Appointments
    Green & Gold Professorship in Surgical Research