Epigenetics for Breast Cancer Prevention: A Family Case-Control Study
Gonzales, Mildred C.
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Session presented on Friday, September 26, 2014: Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy and second leading cause of cancer death among women. Epidemiological studies have documented that environmental carcinogens and unhealthy behaviors increase the risk of BC. This area of epigenetic interactions warrants further examination as it may provide promising behavioral interventions to effectively improve health of families in various communities. Purpose: The major purpose of this study is to provide foundation for evidence-based prevention strategies to enhance quality of care for women with BC and their families through examination of epigenetic pathways. This study will examine the epigenetic risks associated with BC identified as: a) BC gene variations specifically methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); and b) health behaviors on folate, alcohol intakes, and smoking. Methods: Using the family context, this is a case-control study of BC cases and their family members as controls. The stratified random sampling method will be used with inclusion criteria. Thirty BC cases and one of their family members (total of 60) will be recruited from four southern California counties around the University main campus. Contact information is being accessed from California Cancer Registry (CCR) databases. Participants will be interviewed for personal health, cancer-related family history using standardized instruments, and nutrient intake using Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Salivary and/or blood samples will be collected for MTHFR gene, folate, and metabolites analyses. FFQ will be analyzed through Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center using standardized nutrition data system software. Results will be sent to participants as required by the California Bill of Rights for Human Subjects. Results: Data collection is in progress. Conclusions/Implications: Findings in this study will lay out the foundation for future development of effective behavioral intervention strategies and quality care for BC control and prevention based on personal genome variations and epigenetic risks. Thus, this study has potential impact for high quality healthcare with enhanced genome health awareness, competencies among healthcare professionals, and evolution of new targeted approach in diagnostics and treatment management for BC.