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

ing by a UNC Lineberger team that included Millikan, molecular biologist Charles Perou, Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of genetics and of pathology and laboratory medicine in the School of Medicine, and breast cancer specialist Lisa Carey, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the School of Medicine and medical director of the UNC Breast Center. They found that premenopausal black breast cancer patients have the highest prevalence of a subtype of breast cancer called "basal like" cancer.

"Between now and 2012 we will enroll an additional 1,000 black women with newly diagnosed cases of invasive breast cancer half under the age of 50 and half aged 50 and older and a similar number and distribution of white women with breast cancer," Millikan said. "The Lucas Study will more than double the number of black breast cancer patients in the original study. We will also follow the 2,000 women for two years following diagnosis to examine disparities in treatment and access to care."

Millikan said the help of doctors and hospitals would be key to the study's success. "Since this study is not one for which women can volunteer, the help of physicians is vital to us as we reach out to recruit participants in these counties," he said. For the study results to be unbiased, women must be selected through a scientific randomization process, and an equal number of black women and white women will be recruited over a four-year period.

No treatment of any kind will be given as part of the study. Participants will be interviewed in their homes by trained nurses regarding breast cancer risk factors, and a DNA blood sample will be taken to help determine factors that women with breast cancer have in common. Researchers will also request patients' permission to access their medical records relating to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

An advocacy board consisting of breast cancer survivors and others interested in various aspe
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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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