Help contribute to breast cancer research

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Clinical trials are one of the major factors responsible for the gains made in breast cancer survival over the past 30 years.

Thanks to such research studies, improvements have also been made in quality of life for people living with cancer, as researchers have been able to identify more targeted treatments that can help limit many cancer therapy side effects.

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine has established the Breast Cancer Program Longitudinal Repository to collect tissue samples that can help further research into the disease. 

The program began in 2009 and will continue through 2030, with an estimated enrollment of 1,000 volunteer participants.

The Hopkins repository seeks samples from three groups:

• Participants who have a known diagnosis of breast cancer and are receiving a breast cancer evaluation and/or treatment,

• Participants who have benign breast disease and are receiving a diagnostic procedure and/or evaluation, and

• Participants who have no known diagnosis of breast disease or abnormality, but are undergoing routine screening or diagnostic breast imaging procedures and/or other clinical evaluation.

Important to future research

Volunteers in each group agree to provide blood, tissue, urine and other samples, which are collected for future use so that investigators may learn more about cancer by studying cells in blood and tissue collected from people with breast cancer as well as from volunteers without breast cancer. The goal is to make these samples available to help researchers learn how cancer develops and how it may best be treated.

“While much can be learned from the anecdotal clinical experience of individual practitioners and from retrospective chart review, this informal system is not conducive to high-quality clinical studies that could help change clinical practice,” said Dr. Antonio Wolff, a physician with the Hopkins Breast Cancer Program.

Who can volunteer?

Any man or woman being seen at Johns Hopkins for breast cancer treatment — or for any screening or diagnostic breast procedures, such as mammograms or biopsies — may participate. Individuals without a history of breast cancer may also contribute samples.

For more information or to volunteer, contact HopkinsBreastTrials@jhmi.edu.