On November 7-8, 2013, the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), an initiative co-funded by the NCI and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), held its 10th annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, to discuss the future of research on breast cancer and the environment as well as reflect on the program's accomplishments over the past decade. The meeting, BCERP Annual Extended Environmental Exposures Conference, Ten Years: Goals, Accomplishments, and Future Directions, brought together BCERP stakeholders including scientists in the area of breast cancer and mammary biology, environmental epidemiology, and children's health, as well as community, environmental health, and breast cancer advocates.
Currently, there are several ongoing epidemiologic and biologic studies within BCERP that are investigating the influence of extended environmental exposures on breast cancer risk throughout the lifespan and targeting "windows of susceptibility" that may represent periods of particular vulnerability to environmental stresses. To date, BCERP research has resulted in the discovery of novel biomarkersand the creation of public health interventions, such as the dissemination of toolkits and educational materials about environmental exposures and breast cancer risk. Despite these achievements, the discussions and presentations at the conference reinforced the reality that environmental impact on cancer is complex and continued research is needed.
The keynote address at the meeting was delivered by Dr. Kenneth Olden, the current Director of the Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental Assessment and former Director of NIEHS. Dr. Olden was a pioneer of the original Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers (BCERC) program, the precursor to BCERP, which formed in 2003 to address the interplay between genetic, chemical, physical and social factors, puberty, and breast cancer risk. His presentation highlighted NIEHS's work on breast cancer and the environment and discussed the expansion of the definition of "environment" to include both chemical and non-chemical stressors. Dr. Olden also touched on the creation of communication and outreach messages highlighting gene-environment interactions in the development of chronic diseases and how those efforts led to new programs, like BCERP, that are aimed at preventing chronic diseases.
The meeting also highlighted the past accomplishments of BCERC and ongoing progress in BCERP. Dr. Debbie Winn, Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the NCI, gave a presentation on scientific gaps and research recommendations of the federally mandated Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee, and multiple agencies discussed their perspectives on future directions for breast cancer and environmental research.
sábado, 28 de diciembre de 2013
The Breast Cancer and the Environment BCERPResearch Program's 10th Anniversary and Annual Meeting