The Nurses'Health Study (NHS), as well as the NHSII (used in Project 3), are prospective cohort studies of about 238,000 women. A unique aspect of the studies are the collection of biologic specimens that can be used to further elucidate molecular mechanisms of disease through examination of genetic and epigenetic variation, circulating biomarkers, and tumor tissue markers. We have collected blood samples on over 60,000 women, urine for nearly 50,000 women, cheek cell DNA for over 60,000 women without blood samples, and thousands of tumor tissue blocks. These samples are a valuable but finite resource, thus we put substantial effort into ensuring high quality and efficient specimen handling and piloting new assay methodology in a cost-effective, ethical, state of the art manner.
The aim of the Biologic Specimen Management Core (Core C) is to collect, store, process, and distribute biological specimens from women in the NHS/NHSII to better understand the etiology of cancer. Specifically, we aim to provide biologic specimens, including plasma, urine, buffy coat, red blood cells, and cheek cell DNA, for nested case-control studies of breast, colorectal, and ovarian cancers through the NHS Biomarker Laboratory and Repository. Further we will provide tumor tissue for studies of breast, colorectal, and ovarian cancer, as well as mammographic density measures for breast cancer, and to collect and process related specimens via the NHS Tissue and Mammogram Repository. To support these repositories we will maintain and improve an over-arching project management and sample tracking laboratory information management system (LIMS). Central activities of this core include collection of new specimens, processing of samples, management and maintenance of related biorepositories, and preparation of specimens for assay. Importantly, the core conducts pilot studies of all new assays to ensure high reproducibility before sending participant specimens for analysis;quality control procedures also allow for real-time tracking of assay quality while participant samples are being analyzed. Notably, this Core supports scientific aims in Projects 1 -4 of the current application.

Public Health Relevance

Use of biologic specimens in epidemiologic studies can help elucidate important new risk factors and key mechanisms in the development of cancer. This core collects, processes, maintains, and manages a variety of biospecimens for such studies. Providing these biologic samples for Projects 1-4 in this application will lead to improved prevention methods and a better understanding of cancer etiology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-7 (O1))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
Zip Code
Rice, Megan S; Rosner, Bernard A; Tamimi, Rulla M (2017) Percent mammographic density prediction: development of a model in the nurses' health studies. Cancer Causes Control 28:677-684
Hanyuda, Akiko; Cao, Yin; Hamada, Tsuyoshi et al. (2017) Body mass index and risk of colorectal carcinoma subtypes classified by tumor differentiation status. Eur J Epidemiol 32:393-407
Irshad, Humayun; Oh, Eun-Yeong; Schmolze, Daniel et al. (2017) Crowdsourcing scoring of immunohistochemistry images: Evaluating Performance of the Crowd and an Automated Computational Method. Sci Rep 7:43286
Jiménez, M C (2017) Response to comment on plasma uric acid and risk of ischaemic stroke in women. Eur J Neurol 24:e2
Wang, Tiange; Huang, Tao; Heianza, Yoriko et al. (2017) Genetic Susceptibility, Change in Physical Activity, and Long-term Weight Gain. Diabetes 66:2704-2712
Rice, Megan S; Tworoger, Shelley S; Hankinson, Susan E et al. (2017) Breast cancer risk prediction: an update to the Rosner-Colditz breast cancer incidence model. Breast Cancer Res Treat 166:227-240
Linos, E; Li, W Q; Han, J et al. (2017) Lifetime ultraviolet radiation exposure and lentigo maligna melanoma. Br J Dermatol 176:1666-1668
Nimptsch, Katharina; Song, Mingyang; Aleksandrova, Krasimira et al. (2017) Genetic variation in the ADIPOQ gene, adiponectin concentrations and risk of colorectal cancer: a Mendelian Randomization analysis using data from three large cohort studies. Eur J Epidemiol 32:419-430
Masugi, Yohei; Nishihara, Reiko; Hamada, Tsuyoshi et al. (2017) Tumor PDCD1LG2 (PD-L2) Expression and the Lymphocytic Reaction to Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Immunol Res 5:1046-1055
Simon, Tracey G; King, Lindsay Y; Chong, Dawn Q et al. (2017) Diabetes, Metabolic Comorbidities and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Results from Two Prospective Cohort Studies. Hepatology :

Showing the most recent 10 out of 1577 publications