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BRCA Beat: News from the Basser Research Center

Thank You from The Basser Research Center!
The Basser Research Center for BRCA thanks the nearly 300 attendees of the 2014 Joining FORCES conference who joined the Basser Research Registry! "We are continually impressed by the enthusiastic support of research shown by FORCE members. It would take us months to recruit that many carriers through our Cancer Risk Evaluation Program," says Becca Mueller, CGC.

Spit for Science

Project HOPE: Project on Heart Disease and Osteoporosis Prevention Efficacy
We invite you to participate in a research study being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania that is of particular interest to the FORCE community. This study is specifically for women aged 55 and younger who are BRCA mutation carriers, have had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and have undergone surgical removal of their ovaries. All participants in this study will be provided access to an online eating and exercise program either during or after the study. The purpose of the study is to examine the potential benefits on heart and bone health of the online eating and exercise program in this high risk population. All participants will travel to Philadelphia twice during the study (travel expenses paid by the study for those living 75 miles away or more).

If you are interested, please visit the study website.

Assessment of Fertility and Factors Influencing Reproduction and Menopause in BRCA Mutation carriers (AFFIRM Study)
The Basser Research Center for BRCA and fertility specialists at the University of Pennsylvania are recruiting women for a study to better understand fertility in women with BRCA mutations and their BRCA negative relatives. The goal is to help women with increased risk of cancer make decisions about when to start their families.

All women who have tested positive for a BRCA mutation or negative for a mutation within the family are encouraged to participate. The study includes a 30-minute online survey and hormone measurement (eligible women will receive a collection kit by mail, collect a few drops of blood on a special card by finger-prick, and return the sample by mail.)
For more information contact a study coordinator:
(215)614-1414 or PennOncoFertility@uphs.upenn.edu .

Please consider participating & sharing this link!

BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations in the Ashkenazi Jewish Community

The Basser Research Center for BRCA has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. To learn more, look for posters in your synagogue, or visit the Basser website page on this initiative.

Basser Research Study on Long-term Effects of Surgical Menopause

Researchers at the Basser Center for BRCA have been listening to the HBOC community’s concerns about the long-term effects of surgical menopause. They have designed a research survey, which will collect information such as medical history, reproductive history, quality-of-life, and sexual function from BRCA mutation carriers who have elected prophylactic oophorectomy. This information will allow us to:

  • better understand the physical and mental effects that prophylactic surgery can have on women
  • evaluate both the role of hormones in managing menopausal symptoms
  • further study hormone safety post BSO
  • better guide women to make confident, evidence-based, and informed decisions regarding BSO

You are eligible to participate in the study if you:

  • Are at least 30 years old
  • Are a BRCA 1 or 2 mutation carrier
  • Have had prophylactic risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-ooporectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries to prevent cancer)

If you are interested in joining this effort, you will be asked to complete one survey (posted below) and cognitive tests three times over the next two years (once now at baseline, once at 12 months and again at 24 months). To participate, click here.

When you have finished this survey, you will be contacted by a member of the study team with information regarding the cognitive tests. At the completion of this study, results will be shared with the community via FORCE and through other publications however, you can be assured that all of the information you provide will be de-identified.

If you have any questions regarding this study please feel free to contact the research coordinator Alison Greidinger at (215)-662-2770 or rrsostudy@uphs.upenn.edu. We hope you will join us in helping to make this decision easier for women with BRCA mutations!

SOFT Study: Research to Understand Information Needs of Teenagers
The Study Of Female Teens (SOFT), is a survey study for mothers and their 11-19 year old daughters – to learn what girls know about breast cancer risk and how their thoughts and feelings change over time. Participation involves two online or telephone surveys (12 months apart) for mothers and for daughters. Girls with a family history of breast cancer and girls from average risk families are eligible to participate. ‘Many parents have questions about what and when to tell daughters about breast cancer risk,’ reports Dr. Bradbury. ‘The SOFT Study will tell us what girls know and perceive of breast cancer risks, and how it may impact their psychosocial well-being so that health care providers can help parents prepare for these communications.’ For more information, please contact Rebecca Shorter (215-662-2756; rebecca.shorter@uphs.upenn.edu) or Colleen Burke Sands, MPH, (215-662-2747; colleen.sands@uphs.upenn.edu).

FORCE Supports Important Research: The Basser Research Center Says "Thank You"
The Basser Research Center for BRCA wants to thank FORCE for helping enroll 100 BRCA carriers into the Basser Research Registry at the 2012 Joining FORCE's conference.

"It would take us 6 months to recruit that many carriers through our Cancer Risk Evaluation Program," says Becca Mueller, CGC, Basser Center outreach coordinator. "We are thrilled with the enthusiastic support of research that FORCE members show and look forward to sharing our research findings with the community."
Basser says thank you

Basser Biobank and Pancreatic Cancer Research
The Basser Biobank is a repository of annual, serial samples from BRCA carriers to facilitate development of better methods for early cancer detection. Among the researchers utilizing Basser Biobank resources is Basser-Investigator, Dr. Andrew Rhim. Dr. Rhim’s laboratory recently found that cells from the pancreas (and other Dr. Rhimorgans like the ovaries and breasts) can enter the bloodstream when a pre-cancerous lesion is present but long before a tumor has formed. These cells are called circulating epithelial cells or CECs. They can be filtered out from a blood sample using a small microchip. Dr. Rhim’s study will use the Basser Biobank to explore whether CEC’s represent a good biomarker of early stage BRCA-related cancers. This study is currently open to BRCA carriers followed at Penn Medicine’s Rena Rowan Breast Program.  To stay tuned to Basser research progress join the BRCA Beat e-communication by emailing basserinfo@uphs.upenn.edu or visit this page for further updates.


Updated 08/30/13

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