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    Research Grants Awarded

    A Pilot Study of Transillumination of Breast Spectroscopy and Tanner Staging to Assess Breast Development in Puberty

    Study Section:
    Population Specific

    Scientific Abstract:
    Background: Understanding the genetic and hormonal determinants of intermediate traits determined in youth (like breast tissue characteristics) that are associated with breast cancer risk will help elucidate the etiology of breast cancer. A quantitative method to measure types of and changes in breast tissue is needed to improve the current gold standard of Tanner Stage by health care professional. The Ontario Familial Breast Cancer Registry (OFBCR) is part of a consortium that has epidemiologic data and specimens from family members with varying degrees of family history of breast cancer. A prospective study of 5-18 year old daughters of registry participants is being planned to study determinants of intermediate traits. We will pilot Transillumination of Breast Spectroscopy (TIBS) to measure breast tissue characteristics in puberty and adolescence for future use. Objective/hypothesis: We hypothesize that TIBS will provide quantitative measures of breast tissue characteristics in puberty that may correlate with Tanner Stage and serum sex and growth hormones. Specific Aims: 1. To measure the correlation between nurse assessment of Tanner Stage with TIBS, self- and mother-reported Tanner Stage. 2. To assess the participant burden and acceptability of each modality of measuring breast development. To assess the impact of body image perception on self-reported Tanner Stage. 3. To measure the correlation between TIBS and levels of serum sex and growth hormones. Study Design: A cross-sectional pilot study of females aged 7-18, living in Toronto, and whose parent participates in the OFBCR will be conducted. Participants will be contacted by mail, with telephone follow-up. Subjects, who assent and have parental consent to participate, will complete a mail questionnaire collecting epidemiologic data including body image, and self and mother reported Tanner Stage. At the clinic, TIBS and nurse assessment of Tanner Stage will be used to measure breast development. The acceptance and burden of Tanner Staging and TIBS will be assessed by interview. Analyses will include correlation and principal components analysis. Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: This research will test a new method of obtaining continuous measures of breast tissue characteristics in young females that may useful for future studies of breast cancer etiology. TIBS may be an effective modality for measuring breast tissue development as it is an accurate, safe, and cost-effective measurement tool.

    Lay Abstract:
    Background: Some exposures associated with breast cancer risk occur in the womb, and some physical attributes of women associated with higher risk of the disease, such as breast tissue density, are determined during development in puberty and adolescence. If we can understand how genes and hormones influence the development of these physical attributes, then we will be better able to design strategies to lower the number of women who get this disease. To study breast development “Tanner Stage” has been used which assesses breast development on a 5-point scale. This method is not ideal for the studies we plan to conduct since it does not measure the different types of breast tissue or the changes in breast tissue during puberty. Objective: We plan to test Transillumination of Breast Spectroscopy (TIBS) that uses light to measure the different types of cells in the breast for use in future studies. We will compare TIBS to the previously used method of Tanner Stage. Aims: 1. To measure TIBS and nurse assessment of Tanner Stage, and how they are related. 2. To measure acceptability of TIBS, nurse and mother assessment of Tanner Stage. To assess the effect of body image perception on self-report of Tanner Stage. 3. To measure sex and growth hormones in blood to test for associations with TIBS and Tanner Stage. Study Design: In 1995, a registry in Ontario (OFBCR) began collecting data from women diagnosed with breast cancer and with a family history of the disease. The OFBCR is part of a consortium providing an infrastructure for breast cancer research in adults. We will contact women in the OFBCR who have a daughter aged 7-18, to ask them to allow their daughters to participate in this pilot study. Daughters will be asked for their assent; daughter refusal will override parental consent. Mail questionnaires will collect basic information such as age, weight, self and mother-reported Tanner Stage. At a clinic visit, participants will have TIBS measures taken, and a nurse will assess Tanner Stage. This will be followed a brief interview to assess the acceptability and burden of TIBS, nurse and mother assessment of Tanner Stage. Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: TIBS is a safe, accurate and cost-effective method of measuring breast development, and this research will help us to determine if we can use it for future studies. This study will contribute to the advancement of techniques to study breast development as it relates to breast cancer ri sk.