Invasive breast cancers are believed to arise from normal breast structures specifically, the potential milk secreting units called terminal duct lobular units (TDLU). We hypothesize that altered histomorphology in TDLUs, levels of proliferation, levels of apoptosis, and levels of the ER and PR in TDLUs, may be associated with known breast cancer risk factors. Previous efforts to characterize mechanisms of carcinogenesis for known risk factors have been limited by small sample sizes and incomplete epidemiologic characterization of the subjects. Investigators in the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch are collaborating with the Susan G. Komen® for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (KTB), which offers a rich and unique opportunity for identifying links between biologic markers and breast cancer risk factors. This repository includes questionnaire data, breast tissue, saliva, serum, and whole blood collected from over 1,000 healthy women volunteers that exhibited no evidence of breast cancer. The current project offers the possibility of determining the mechanisms by which risk factors act on epithelial cells prior to tumor development.
For more information, contact Jonine Figueroa.