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Puberty Study

The Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) Puberty Study is a collaborative multi-site epidemiologic study of young girls. The aim of these collaborative studies is to investigate and identify predictors of early age at onset of puberty, including breast and pubic hair development. The rationale underlying these studies is that early sexual maturation is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, and this may represent a critical period in establishing long-term breast cancer risk. Areas of interest include environmental exposures, including chemicals in personal and household products that may be hormonally active; lifestyle factors, such as food intake and physical activity; body size and development; and psychosocial factors.

These are prospective studies, enrolling young girls at age 6 to 8 years at first visit, and following them forward with periodic visits to assess hallmarks of pubertal development and changes in exposures of interest.

Investigators are collaborating with local Community Outreach and Translation Cores (COTCs) to build and promote partnerships among researchers, community members, and other stakeholders, ensure representation of breast cancer advocates in formulating research questions, assist with participant retention, and development and implementation of tools and materials to communicate study findings to the public and policy makers.

The Principal Investigator (PI) and lead representative for the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) for each study site is listed below. Click on the project titles to view a summary of each study.

Cincinnati Children's
Hospital Medical Center
Continued Studies of Environment Impact on Puberty
PI: Frank Biro, MD
COTC Reps: Gail Greenburg and Peggy Monroe
Kaiser Foundation
Research Institute
The CYGNET Study: Envirormental and Genetic Determinants of Maturation of Girls
PI: Lawrence Kushi, ScD
COTC Rep: Janice Barlow, Zero Breast Cancer
Mount Sinai School of Medicine Environmental and Genetic Determinants of Puberty
PI: Mary Wolff, PhD
COTC Rep: Barbara Brenner, PhD, MSSM School of Medicine