Unique Opportunity For Women To Participate In Breast Cancer Research

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A research study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is designed to establish one of the largest and most rapidly assembled groups of women to aid in the study of breast cancer occurrence.

Spit for the Cure involves the collection of saliva samples from thousands of women and is being conducted with the support of the Arkansas Chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The saliva samples will be used to create a DNA database for future studies related to breast cancer risk and treatment. Participants also will be asked to answer a short questionnaire and indicate if they would be willing to participate in follow-up studies. All information will be kept confidential.

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To participate, contact Susan Kadlubar, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental and occupational health in the UAMS College of Public Health, at (501) 526-7957. Additional researchers leading the study are V. Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., director of the breast cancer program at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute (formerly the Arkansas Cancer Research Center), and Kristy Bondurant, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow.

"It has become clear that an individual's inherited profile and environmental exposures will decide, to a large degree, that individual's risk of developing breast cancer," Klimberg said. "We are working to obtain DNA samples from a representative group of Arkansas women that will be used to advance breast cancer research in a variety of areas."

Researchers will be allowed to access the samples and data linked by unique identification codes in order to address specific questions related to the factors affecting breast cancer risk and treatment, without having access to information that could identify participants.

"Because the study is noninvasive, it is easy to participate," Kadlubar said. "By collecting samples from women at Susan G. Komen for the Cure events, as well as in other locations, we hope to quickly assemble a large, representative DNA database that will benefit numerous research studies." Little Rock is home to one of the country's largest Komen Races for the Cure, with more than 40,000 women participants each year.

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