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.

Learn more about the BCERPExternal Web Site Policy.

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Funded Projects

EGRP is co-funding the BCERP network with NIEHSExternal Web Site Policy and partnering with NCI's Division of Cancer BiologyExternal Web Site Policy on this effort. The program has three parallel efforts: the Puberty StudyExternal Web Site Policy, 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 StudiesExternal Web Site Policy, (laboratory and epidemiological) addressing environmental influences on breast cancer risk throughout the lifespan; and a Coordinating CenterExternal Web Site Policy 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.

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Funding Opportunities

On November 3, 2014, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published two Requests for Applications (RFAs) that together will constitute the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) Consortium:

  • Environmental Influences during Windows of Susceptibility in Breast Cancer Risk – expires January 29, 2015, unless reiussued
  • Coordinating Center for the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program – expires January 29, 2015, unless reissued

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BCERC Report Cover


The BCERP has published more than 50 scientific manuscripts. View a list of BCERP publicationsExternal Web Site Policy.

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 materialsExternal Web Site Policy.

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].

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Archived News

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NCI Contacts

NIEHS Contacts

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