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UNC Lineberger launches 44-county study of breast cancer in black women
Date:10/30/2008

CHAPEL HILL A new study seeking to improve scientists' understanding of breast cancer, including why the disease's fatality rate is higher in African-American women, is getting underway in 44 counties in North Carolina.

The project, named after the late Jeanne Hopkins Lucas, a North Carolina state senator who died of breast cancer last year, is being run by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The research is an extension of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, one of the largest breast cancer databases in the United States.

Potential participants will be identified from among women living in the 44 North Carolina counties, as participating hospitals report newly diagnosed breast cancer cases to the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry. Using a scientifically selected study sample, UNC researchers will contact the physician of record prior to contacting the patient about the study.

Robert Millikan, D.V.M., Ph.D., Barbara Sorensen Hulka Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the study's principal investigator. Mary Beth Bell, project manager of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, is coordinating the project team, which includes nurse interviewers, recruitment specialists, outreach coordinators and others. The study is supported by the University Cancer Research Fund.

"Black women under the age of 50 have a high mortality rate from breast cancer, almost twice that of younger white women," said Millikan. "We will address this pressing health disparity by enlarging upon the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, which enrolled over 2,300 women with breast cancer and 2,000 control subjects between 1993 and 2001."

One of the Lucas study's primary aims is to investigate subtypes of breast cancer, continuing discoveries made by the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Data from the existing study were key to a 2006 find
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Contact: Patric Lane
patric_lane@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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