Breast cancer takes its greatest toll on young women. Young women frequently have biologically aggressive tumors. They often present with advanced disease and their tumors are frequently hormone non- responsive, thereby limiting treatment options. Young women suffer lower than average disease-free and overall survival. The work proposed is focused on discovery of the as yet unknown genetic risk factors that underlie development of early-onset breast cancer. These findings will pave the way for future studies to elucidate how genetic risk and environmental factors interact and account for the aggressive tumors and poor outcome young breast cancer patients experience. We hypothesize copy number variants (CNVs) play an important role in risk for development of early-onset breast cancer.
The purpose of the study was to learn what genetic factors may play a role in the development of breast cancer in young women. The researchers wanted to enroll up to 5,000 women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer when they were 40 years old or younger for this study. The initial Call to Action for this study was sent to AOW members on May 5, 2010 and the researchers closed enrollment on April 22, 2019. The AOW provided them with 3,730 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.