Recruitment of 50,000 sisters of women with breast cancer

sentatives will carry out their first on-site recruiting of Tampa-area women Sept. 21 during the local Race for the Cure at Straub Park, in adjacent St. Petersburg. The Suncoast affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which sponsors Race for the Cure events across the nation to raise money to fight breast cancer, is providing space at the big Tampa event.

Dale Sandler, Ph.D., acting chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch, and Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Biostatistics Branch, are the principal investigators in this study. Dr. Sandler said, "Our recruiting plan includes working with breast cancer advocacy and support groups to spread the word about the Sister Study and our need for 50,000 women participants. Breast cancer advocates, in fact, will be the backbone of the study.

"We're asking them to register the Sister Study with volunteer centers, service clubs like Rotary and Junior League, public libraries, city search websites, and all breast cancer directories or hotlines."

Why sisters?

"First-degree relatives, especially sisters, have up to two times the risk of developing breast cancer as the average woman," Sandler said.

She said they are also likely to be within the same age range and to have been exposed to many of the same environmental factors during early childhood and even later in life. They also share many of the same genes, including those that determine the way their bodies handle carcinogens or repairs DNA.

They also, Sandler said, share a common concern over the disease that makes them more likely to want to participate in the study and stay in the study for the ten or more years that it may take to get results.

Besides collecting biological and environmental samples - blood, urine, toenail clippings and household dust - from participants at the outset, Sister Study researchers will use questionnaires to

Contact: Bill Grigg
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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