Centre de recherche du CHA - Hôpital du Saint-Carement
Domaine : cancer
Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2
In 2013, it is estimated that 23,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 women will die from this disease. It is also estimated that women who have had breast cancer have a 60% higher risk of developing a second one. It is therefore important to develop strategies for prevention and my research program aims at identifying such strategies. To achieve this, we need to identify protective and modifiable factors for this cancer, as well as the population that can benefit of these modifications.
There is some evidence that an increase in omega-3 daily intake could be a promising approach to reduce the incidence of breast cancer. However, recent results indicate that the protective effect of omega-3 on the risk of this disease would be limited to postmenopausal obese women. To better understand this phenomenon, we must determine whether the breast tissue of women is different according to their intake of omega-3 fatty acids and their weight. The first part of my program will answer this question.
It now seems quite clear that certain dietary or lifestyle components could influence the methylation of our genes. Methylation is a chemical change on our DNA that occurs very early in the development of breast cancer. Thus, the identification of all changes in the DNA methylation of genes associated with risk of breast cancer could accelerate the discovery and development of interventions to prevent cancer. The second part of my program will allow identifying such changes.
The results of my work could pave the way for the development of innovative prevention approaches against breast cancer in appropriate target populations.