PRMA and UTHSCSA Join Together to Find Answers
By: Courtney Floyd
We are conducting a research study involving women with a family history of breast cancer. The goal of the research study is to improve the lives of women with inherited susceptibility to breast cancer through greater understanding and knowledge of what causes this increased risk of breast cancer. Our research is a scientific collaboration between us and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHCSCA).
Women asked to participate in this study are those who may have genetic alterations in certain genes that increase the risk of developing breast cancer, such as the BRCA-1 or PALPB-2 genes and have decided to have a prophylactic mastectomy.
If you decide to participate in this research study, your tissue removed during your mastectomy will be taken to a lab and grown under various conditions. We will study and compare the molecular and cellular characteristics of your tissue to that of tissue without gene abnormalities. In this way, we hope to better understand how these genes work and what the functional consequences are when they carry genetic alterations. Through these efforts, we hope to answer the following questions:
- Why is breast cancer more common in women with these gene alterations?
- Why is the increase in cancer risk confined to the breast and ovary, but not other parts of the body?
- Are there ways to predict who will develop cancer and who will not?
- Are there medications or other strategies to prevent breast cancer in women with these gene alterations?
- Can we develop more effective treatments targeted to this particular type of breast cancer?
If you are interested in learning more about the study, please let one of your PRMA providers know and they will guide you through the next steps. A member of our team will speak with you individually, describe it more fully, and answer any questions you may have.
Being a part of this study does not affect your care. There are no extra visits, tests, or costs. We are simply asking your permission to use your breast tissue that would normally be discarded at the time of your surgery for scientific research. If you decide to become a participant, you will be asked to sign a consent form before surgery. This will be done at the hospital immediately before your surgery.