Epidemiology of Breast Cancer Subtypes in African-American Women

The purpose of this collaborative Program Project is to understand the etiology of specific subtypes of breast cancer in African American women, in particular, the basal-like subtype, which occurs about twice as often in African American women as in other ethnic groups and is associated with a worse prognosis than other subtypes.   Questionnaire, genetic, and pathology data from four large epidemiologic studies, including the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), will be pooled in order to have sufficient numbers of cases of the basal-like subtype.  The data coordinating center will reside at the Slone Epidemiology Center.  Archived tumor blocks will be requested from the pathology departments of hospitals where study participants receive treatments.  Tumor tissue microarrays will be created and the tissue will be assayed by immunohistochemistry to establish the subtypes.  Both non-genetic and genetic factors will be assessed in relation to breast cancer subtypes.  In addition, analyses of gene-environment interactions will be carried out.


Julie R. Palmer, Sc.D., Principal Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Christine Ambrosone, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Andrew Olshan, M.D.
University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center

Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., Co-Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Edward Ruiz-Narváez, Sc.D., Co-Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Patricia F. Coogan, D.Sc., Co-Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Kathryn Lunetta, Sc.D.,
Director of Biostatistics and Data Management Core
Boston University School of Public Health

Study Staff:

Traci Bethea, Postdoctoral Fellow
Katie McInerney, Data Manager
Stephen Haddad, Data Analyst
Hannah Lord, Research Supervisor
Jackie Smith, Research Nurse
Sharon Cornelius, Research Assistant
Oleg Starobinets, Systems Analyst

Source of Funding:

National Cancer Institute

Study Period:

2011 to 2016

Email Julie R. Palmer, Sc.D., at jpalmer@bu.edu