New study into genetic factors in breast cancer launched

18 May 2005

A new long-term study into the genetic, environmental and hormonal causes of breast cancer has been launched. The Breakthrough Generations Study, a joint venture between Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the Institute of Cancer Research, aims to recruit over 100,000 women aged 18 and above in the UK and follow them at five-year intervals over the next fifty years. This would make it the largest and longest running scientific study of its kind. Participants will complete questionnaires and provide blood samples for genetic analysis on entering the study and at follow-up sessions. Project leader Professor Alan Ashworth of the Institute of Cancer Research commented: "Within a few years, we can expect the first results of the study to emerge, giving us a unique insight into the causes of breast cancer and, eventually, allowing us to work out methods to prevent it occurring in the first place" (see BBC news report).

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