Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3)
Through the Breast and Prostate Cancer and Hormone-Related Gene Variant Study, the Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) investigators pool data and biospecimens from 10 large prospective cohorts to conduct research on gene-environment interactions in cancer etiology. The Consortium’s first project was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for four years in 2003 to assess candidate genes in the steroid receptor metabolism and IGF pathways associated with risk for breast and prostate cancer. (Original Research Plan)
The BPC3's research project was the first to be initiated by the Cohort Consortium, a group of investigators responsible for high-quality cohorts that was formed by NCI in 2000 for large-scale collaborations in the molecular epidemiology of cancer.
The Consortium collaborates with three genomic facilities, epidemiologists, population geneticists, and biostatisticians from multiple institutions to study hormone-related gene variants and environmental factors in breast and prostate cancers. Four of the participating cohorts are funded through the NCI's Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Two of the cohorts are funded by NCI's intramural research program, the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG).
The BPC3 has created an organizational structure to accelerate research, reported in meeting abstracts and journals. Among its findings, the BPC3 reported that ER-negative breast cancer is related to variants in the steroid metabolism gene HSD17B1 (Feigelson et al., 2006). As genotyping data are developed, BPC3 provides resources for investigators, for example, sequencing data to select tag SNPs for 59 genes in sex steroid hormone and growth factor, and information on primers and probes.
In the fall of 2007, BPC3 received an additional four years of funding to test for certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that have been identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) as being associated with estrogen receptor negative breast and aggressive forms of prostate cancer, characterized by a high histologic grade (Gleason score 8+). (Current Research Plan)