The etiology of male breast cancer has been difficult to investigate, given its relative rarity. Most previous studies have involved case-control designs, raising questions about the possibility of recall bias. Prospective studies to identify risk factors are difficult to undertake as no one study has a sufficient number of cases. A new consortial effort is now underway, in which data from eight large cohorts are being pooled to explore a variety of potential risk factors. Cohorts with biologic material collected prior to disease onset are especially valuable for clarifying underlying biologic mechanisms. Of specific interest is the assessment of endogenous hormones and genetic markers. Questionnaire data sets are being assembled and biologic samples (sera, DNA) are being sought for future analyses that will shed light on the role of genetic and hormonal relationships in the etiology of this poorly studied tumor.
For more information, contact Louise Brinton.