Genetic and Epidemiological Approaches to Breast Density and Breast Cancer Risk

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Investigator: Elad Ziv, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Cancer Institute

Location(s): United States

Description

This proposal will search for genetic variants that underlie the association between breast density and breast cancer risk. Breast density is known to be a strong risk factor for breast cancer. The applicant will also use this proposal to continue and enhance his role as a mentor to junior investigators pursuing patient oriented research, studying genetic and environmental factors that underlie cancer susceptibility.

Mammographic breast density is known to be a strong risk factor for breast cancer and is also a highly heritable trait. Dr. Ziv will analyze a large genome wide association study (GWAS) that his group is generating, comparing 500 women from the top quintile of age and BMI-adjusted breast density to 500 women from the bottom quintile. He will perform a replication analysis of the top 1500 variants in a replication dataset of another 500 women from the top and 500 women from the bottom quintile of age and BMI adjusted density. In addition, his group will search for genetic variants that are associated with both breast densit and breast cancer risk. They will perform a combined analysis of breast density and breast cancer GWAS datasets, using GWAS datasets of breast cancer susceptibility that his group has generated and a publicly available breast cancer GWAS datasets. Dr. Ziv and colleagues will also use next generation sequencing to search for rare variants that may explain the overlap between these traits. In particular, women with a strong family history of breast cancer who are also in the top quintile of age and BMI-adjusted breast density will be selected for whole exome sequencing.