August 19, 2010

Committee to Shape Federal Research Agenda on Breast Cancer Genetics, Environmental Factors

Earlier this summer, we wrote about the President’s Cancer Panel report on environmental causes of cancer. Relatedly, the National Institutes of Health announced this week the formation of a committee to focus in part on environmental factors related specifically to breast cancer.

The committee will “develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer.” It will apparently review current federal breast cancer research activities and make recommendations for improving these programs.

The committee is composed of representatives from the EPA, CDC, National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and other federal agencies, along with several physicians and scientists, and representatives from the advocacy groups Zero Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Options, Academy for Cancer Wellness, Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Breast Cancer Fund.

For more information, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides some (rather technical) resources on breast cancer and the environment, and has produced a report (most recently in 2008) on the State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment [PDF]. The National Cancer Institute provides an online “understanding cancer” series which includes a set of slides and information on cancer and the environment.

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