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Approved research

Study of molecular and genetic factors for breast cancer

Principal Investigator: Dr Dezheng Huo
Approved Research ID: 49564
Approval date: July 29th 2019

Lay summary

Breast cancer is the most common cancers in women and it is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. However, the risk of having breast cancer differs across individuals. There are tools to calculate the risk according to clinical and lifestyle factors, while genetic factors may help to improve the accuracy of the risk calculation. This study aims to discover additional genetic and molecular factors for breast cancer and test if they can improve the accuracy of risk calculation. Insulin-like growth factor is a group of hormones that can stimulate growth and also is related to blood sugar regulation. We will first examine the correlation between the blood levels of insulin-like growth factor and breast cancer risk among all female participants in the UK Biobank (months 1-4). Then we will use the genetic determinants for insulin-like growth factor to estimate the risk of breast cancer (months 5-8). We will also use gene expression data to discover new genes for breast cancer (months 9-15). Then we will develop a risk prediction model using new genetic factors (months 16-20) and combine with lifestyle and environmental factors for breast cancer to improve risk prediction (after month 20). The study findings will have potential to improve the accuracy of risk calculation of breast cancer, so women can use this information to discuss with their physicians on the best age to start breast cancer screening and how often they should do the screening.