Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program
The Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), a joint effort co-funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is the next phase of a program that began with the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers (BCERC) in 2003. The BCERP supports a multidisciplinary network of scientists, clinicians, and community partners to examine the effects of environmental exposures that may predispose a woman to breast cancer throughout her life. The network engages both laboratory and population-based research to study puberty and other "windows of susceptibility" or specific time periods when the developing breast may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures.
EGRP is co-funding the BCERP network with NIEHS and partnering with NCI's Division of Cancer Biology on this effort. The program has three parallel efforts: the Puberty Study, an ongoing multi-site epidemiologic cohort study with more than 1,200 young girls that is looking at determinants of pubertal maturation; the Windows of Susceptibility Studies, (laboratory and epidemiological) addressing environmental influences on breast cancer risk throughout the lifespan; and a Coordinating Center with responsibility for organization and communications for the BCERP, and serving as a central repository and clearinghouse for cross-site data in the Puberty studies.
On September 15, 2014, NCI and NIEHS published notices in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts of its intent to publish a set of Requests for Applications (RFAs) to solicit applications that address the influence of environmental exposures during specific windows of susceptibility on breast cancer risk. One RFA will support new collaborative investigations combining expertise in experimental studies (using in vivo or in vitro models), human studies, and community engagement. Another RFA will invite applications from investigators with expertise in coordinating large, multi-site programs, providing logistical support for such programs, facilitating and evaluating team science, and disseminating research results.
- NOT-ES-14-010: Notice of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcement for Environmental Influences during Windows of Susceptibility in Breast Cancer Risk (U01)
- NOT-ES-14-011: Notice of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcement for Coordinating Center for the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (U01)
The BCERP has published more than 50 scientific manuscripts. View a list of BCERP publications.
Additionally, the BCERP Community Outreach and Translation Cores (COTCs) have developed a wide range of outreach and educational materials related to normal breast development and how exposure to chemicals that act like hormones in the body during specific developmental periods might influence breast cancer susceptibility. View BCERP education and outreach materials.
A progress report summarizing research from the first phase of the BCERP, the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Centers (BCERC), was presented in 2009 to NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors and the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council. View the 2009 BCERC Progress Report [PDF - 3 MB].
- Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program RFAs Released – 10/30/2009
- Press release announcing the 7-year awards – 10/14/2003
- NCI Contacts
- NIEHS Contacts