The goal of the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Project is to develop new methods to assess breast cancer risk for all women and to design sustainable prevention strategies. The project brings together experts in nutrition, basic medical sciences, statistics, cancer epidemiology, communication, public policy, economics, health law, anthropology and medicine to study a variety of factors such as how cellular mechanisms in breast cancer development link to diet, as well as the role public policy plays in a population’s available food source and disease prevention. The project, in which the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer are also involved, allows scientists to study worldwide diversity in breast cancer rates, dietary patterns and cultural contexts. The project is initially focusing on the United States, Ghana, France, Japan, Uruguay and Lebanon.
“We hope that by educating people about the different factors that influence the genes behind breast cancer those at-risk can take steps to reduce their chances of having the disease,” she said. “In addition to improving the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, it is important to discover ways to prevent the disease. In the end, no treatment compares to avoiding the disease entirely.”
Connie Weaver, a distinguished professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue, co-chaired the think tank with Lelièvre. The two also described the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition efforts and accomplishments in a paper recently published in Nutrition Reviews as a special article titled “Global Nutrition Research: Nutrition and Breast Cancer Prevention as a Model.”
Purdue sponsors of the think tank included the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, The Office of the Provost and the Department of Nutrition Science. The Oncological Sciences Center and the Office of Vice President for Research also provided logistic support. Additional information is available at http:www.purdue.edu/breastcancer.