2013-03-01 / Hospital Updates

The CINJ partners with Cooper University Hospital on research study

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Cooper University Hospital — a Major Clinical Research Affiliate ofThe Cancer Institute of New Jersey — are working together on a nontherapy research study that examines factors related to the early development of breast cancer in African American women. Investigators will explore how these factors compare to those in Caucasian women. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Compared to Caucasian women,African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and at a later stage, and often have more aggressive features associated with a poor outcome.The reasons for these differences remain unknown.Through the Women’s Circle of Health study investigators atThe Cancer Institute of New Jersey are exploring the influence of health and lifestyle factors on the early development of breast cancer in African American women.To address these issues, interviews will be conducted with study volunteers from nine counties across the state.African American women ages 20 to 75 who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer are eligible to participate, though other criteria must also be met.

Women meeting the eligibility criteria will be asked to give demographic and medical information, as well as reproductive, lifestyle and diet histories.A saliva sample will be also collected for genetic analyses. Participants do not need to take any medications.

The study is being offered at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and at Cooper University Hospital. It is being conducted in collaboration with the New Jersey State Cancer Registry and Roswell Park Cancer Institute and is supported by the National Cancer Institute (P01CA151135-01 – Ambrosone, Bandera).

Cancer Institute of New Jersey epidemiologist Elisa Bandera M.D., Ph.D., is the lead investigator.“This research study aims to understand how lifestyle and genetic factors impact the chances of developing cancer so that better pre- vention strategies can be developed. Previous breast cancer studies in African American and Caucasian women generally have been based on too few African American women to fully understand the differences between these two groups. By focusing on larger numbers of African American women, this study will provide new and important information about the causes of breast cancer in African American women,” noted Dr. Bandera, who is also an associate professor of epidemiology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and UMDNJ-School of Public Health.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to say something meaningful about how lifestyle and genetic factors influence risks of breast cancer in African American women,” noted Robert Somer M.D., who is the principal investigator at Cooper University Hospital for the Women’s Circle of Health study.

For more information on how to take part in the Women’s Circle of Health Study, call 732-235-8806 or e-mail wchstudy@umdnj.edu.

“It is through volunteer participation that researchers are able to identify better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand diseases such as cancer, which will result in improved patient outcomes,” said Susan Goodin, Pharm.D., deputy director at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and associate director for clinical trials and therapeutics.“Our collaboration with Cooper University Hospital allows more access to these trials and allows for more everyday heroes throughout New Jersey to step forward to help us accomplish this mission,” noted Dr. Goodin, who is also a professor of medicine at

UMDNJ-Robert Wood

Johnson Medical School.

Clinical trials and research studies now under way atThe Cancer Institute of New Jersey explore diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer, as well as management of cancer symptoms.The Cancer Institute of New Jersey currently enrolls more than 3,500 patients in clinical trials each year, including approximately 17 percent of all new adult cancer patients and approximately 70 percent of all pediatric cancer patients.That compares with fewer than five percent of all adult cancer patients enrolled nationwide.

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center,The Cancer Institute of New Jersey offers patients access to treatment options not available at other institutions within the state.

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