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NU professors seek volunteers to further breast cancer research

by jmaloni
Tue, Jun 7th 2011 01:30 pm

Drs. Mary McCourt and Larry Mielnicki, both Niagara University professors, are seeking females over age 18 to volunteer for a study that aims to detect biomarkers for breast cancer in the urine of women.

Faculty members from NU's Department of Nursing will gather information and urine samples from volunteers from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at the Community Health Center of Niagara (Mizer Building, 501 10th St., Niagara Falls). Professionals will also provide participants with information about breast cancer screening, breast disease and breast cancer treatment options, and answer questions.

The research, funded by a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, will analyze urine samples from women who have experienced invasive breast cancer as well as women who have never been diagnosed to look for biomarkers that may be a sign of cancerous breast tissue.

Those eligible to take part include volunteers over the age of 18 who are healthy (defined as having no evidence of breast disease in the last year) as well as individuals who have been recently diagnosed as having breast disease, including precancerous changes (also called proliferative breast disease or breast hyperplasia), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive breast cancer.

All information obtained from participants is voluntary and confidential.   

McCourt, chairperson and associate professor of chemistry at Niagara University, received a $150,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women in 2009 to conduct research exploring the development of a new, noninvasive test for breast cancer that may replace the annual mammogram. Mielnicki, an expert in breast tumor screens and an adjunct professor of chemistry at NU, is collaborating with McCourt on the research.

For more information, call the Community Health Center of Niagara at 278-4418.

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