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Jewels in Our Genes Study

Heather Ochs-Balcom at University at Buffalo
Study abstract

We propose a community-based participatory research-driven, mixed methods and multi-site study that optimizes the recruitment of African American women with breast cancer and their family members to search for novel susceptibility genes. In collaboration with the Witness Project, the goal of this study is to investigate genetic factors related to breast cancer disparities. The aims are: 1) Qualitatively investigate mechanisms to optimize recruitment and participation by African American women; 2) Determine familiality of phenotypic features of breast cancer; and 3) Identify novel genomic regions associated with breast cancer in African American pedigrees with adjustment for differences in genetic ancestry. We will conduct a genome-wide linkage analysis in pedigrees not segregating BRCA1/2 mutations.

Study review

This study at the University at Buffalo, in New York, is investigating whether there are undiscovered inherited genetic mutations unique to African Americans that may predict early breast cancer risk. The researchers wanted to enroll up to 400 volunteers (150 families). The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women members on October 6, 2010. The Army of Women provided them with 190 women who were interested in enrolling in the study. The researchers closed enrollment on June 15, 2012, with 33 percent of its study sample coming from the Army of Women.

Research Webinar:
Army of Women Research 101: Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom

Resulting Publications: