PEI study looks at estrogen, breast cancer links

More than 1,200 Prince Edward Island women will take part in a new study in the search for a better understanding of how the female hormone estrogen is linked to breast cancer.  Dr. Alastair Cribb’s team at the University of Prince Edward Island are receiving funding from the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative (CBCRI) to identify the enzymes responsible for metabolizing estrogen in the body.

The study will also determine whether genetic variations in these enzymes are associated with breast cancer risk. The three-year program will involve at least 300 women with breast cancer and 900 women withoutbreast cancer.

"This work is significant because it will help us understand the relationship of estrogen to breast cancer risk," says Dr. Marilyn Schneider, CBCRI’s executive director. "That understanding may lead to new and better approaches to preventing and treating breast cancer."

Dr. Cribb’s study is one of 25 research projects across the country which CBCRI, the primary funder of breast cancer research in Canada, will support this year. Since it was formed in 1993, CBCRI has granted $55 million to more than 200 breast cancer research projes spanning the spectrum of breast cancer research, including prevention, early detection, treatment, and care.

Breast cancer survivors are an integral part of CBCRI, helping to set research priorities alongside researchers and clinicians. The CBCRI is a partnership among seven organizations: the Avon Flame Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Canadian Cancer Society, Health Canada, the Medical Research Council of Canada, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.