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)
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
Li, Yanping; Pan, An; Wang, Dong D et al. (2018) Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population. Circulation 138:345-355
Liu, Ying; Colditz, Graham A; Rosner, Bernard A et al. (2018) Comparison of Performance Between a Short Categorized Lifestyle Exposure-based Colon Cancer Risk Prediction Tool and a Model Using Continuous Measures. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 11:841-848
Sun, Qi; Zong, Geng; Valvi, Damaskini et al. (2018) Plasma Concentrations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Investigation among U.S. Women. Environ Health Perspect 126:037001
Rice, Megan S; Tamimi, Rulla M; Bertrand, Kimberly A et al. (2018) Does mammographic density mediate risk factor associations with breast cancer? An analysis by tumor characteristics. Breast Cancer Res Treat 170:129-141
Khawaja, Anthony P; Cooke Bailey, Jessica N; Wareham, Nicholas J et al. (2018) Genome-wide analyses identify 68 new loci associated with intraocular pressure and improve risk prediction for primary open-angle glaucoma. Nat Genet 50:778-782
Graff, Rebecca E; Sanchez, Alejandro; Tobias, Deirdre K et al. (2018) Type 2 Diabetes in Relation to the Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma Among Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohort Studies. Diabetes Care 41:1432-1437
Merritt, Melissa A; Rice, Megan S; Barnard, Mollie E et al. (2018) Pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis use of common analgesics and ovarian cancer prognosis (NHS/NHSII): a cohort study. Lancet Oncol 19:1107-1116
Pettersson, Andreas; Gerke, Travis; Penney, Kathryn L et al. (2018) MYC Overexpression at the Protein and mRNA Level and Cancer Outcomes among Men Treated with Radical Prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 27:201-207
Hamada, Tsuyoshi; Zhang, Xuehong; Mima, Kosuke et al. (2018) Fusobacterium nucleatum in Colorectal Cancer Relates to Immune Response Differentially by Tumor Microsatellite Instability Status. Cancer Immunol Res 6:1327-1336
Li, Bo; Wang, Yanru; Xu, Yinghui et al. (2018) Genetic variants in RORA and DNMT1 associated with cutaneous melanoma survival. Int J Cancer 142:2303-2312

Showing the most recent 10 out of 1708 publications