Environmental substances seem to be involved in the etiology of breast cancers. Several studies havefound an association between human cancer and exposure to agricultural pesticides such as theorganochlorine (OC) pesticides; therefore, farmworkers may be at higher risk for acute and chronic healtheffects associated with pesticides. The objective of this project is two-fold, 1) obtain epidemiological dataspecific to breast cancer incidence rates in areas of high and low pesticide use, and 2) expose normal breastepithelial in culture with organochlorine chemicals to determine the biological effects. This is responsive to thehealth disparity of Hispanic farmworkers in the Central Valley. For Phase 1, student researchers will calculateage-adjusted breast cancer incidence rates for pesticide use and identify databases from which other variablespertinent to breast cancer epidemiology are useful. Upon promising results, individual breast cancer cases(and healthy 'controls') will be approached and recruited for entry into a breast cancer case-control study inwhich both questionnaire-based information and biological specimens are collected. DNA will be extractedfrom saliva and genotyped by PCR techniques at Fresno State for several of the common carcinogenmetabolizinggenes. For Phase 2, student researchers will test the biological effects of organochlorines onprimary normal human mammary epithelial cells derived from Hispanic participants of the NCI/CooperativeHuman Tissue Network. Cells maintained under long-term OC treatment will be compared by proteomicexpression profiling by 2D-PAGE and LC-MS/MS in year 1 followed by gene expression profiling in year 2.Finally, OC-resistant cells will be screened in conjunction with the BIMR Chemical Genomics Core forreversion of the estrogenic effects. This innovative pilot project takes students through a range of cancerresearch aspects from identifying at-risk populations to molecular analyses of the problem.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (10))
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California State University Fresno
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