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Obesity is a complex phenotype resulting from interactions between genetics, diet, hormones, physical activity and environmental factors. Adulthood weight gain and obesity raises breast cancer risk after menopause and increases the likelihood of an adverse prognosis among women already diagnosed with breast cancer. The purpose of this research is to pilot test interventions that are linked to a lowered risk of recurrence and mortality among women already diagnosed with breast cancer and a lower risk of developing breast cancer among postmenopausal women. To better understand the conduct of these interventions, we propose a 12-week pilot intervention study to investigate whether interventions that contain both dietary and exercise components designed to reduce body weight affect body composition, hormones and biomarkers in apparently healthy postmenopausal women. We plan to use the findings from the pilot study to assist with funding application, design and implementation of a dietary and exercise intervention in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors and postmenopausal high-risk women.
The researchers needed to recruit 20 volunteers, and a Call to Action was sent out on January 7, 2009. The researchers were able to close their study on January 8, 2009, after the Army of Women provided them with 125 qualified women.
The NIEHS Sister Study is prospectively examining environmental and familial risk factors for breast cancer and other diseases in a cohort of 50,000 sisters of women who have had breast cancer. By focusing on a genetically susceptible group, more precise estimates of the contribution of environmental and other non-genetic factors to disease risk may be possible.
The cohort will be followed actively for the development of breast cancer and other diseases. We expect, on average, 300 new case of breast cancer to be diagnosed each year in a cohort of 50,000 sisters aged 35-74 years. Thus, after five years of follow-up, we will have sufficient power, with about 1,500 new breast cancer cases, to address many key hypotheses regarding gene-environment interactions. Baseline questionnaires, banked blood, urine, and toenail samples, as well as banked environmental samples will provide a rich resource for testing current and future hypotheses regarding breast cancer risk. Follow-up questionnaires will update exposure and medical histories as well as provide an opportunity to collect new data and environmental samples to evaluate emerging hypotheses. Nested case-control or case-cohort analyses will be carried out among sisters who develop cancer and a sample of those who do not, to assess specific gene-environment interactions. Once assembled, the cohort also will provide the structure for assessing gene-environment interactions in risk for other diseases and will provide opportunities for add-on studies.
The researchers needed to recruit 5,000 more volunteers to close their study. A Call to Action sent out on October 28, 2008, provided the women with 2,400 qualified women. A second Call to Action sent out on March 3, 2009, provided even more, allowing the researchers to close this study on March 30, 2009.