Paint the Town Pink highlights Breast Cancer Research Studies at Meridian Health

Contact:Maureen Gillespie, Public Relations Manager
Phone:(732) 776-4166

Paint the Town Pink highlights Breast Cancer Research Studies at Meridian Health

Meridian Health takes part in important research studies examining early development breast cancer

This May, Meridian Health celebrates Paint the Town Pink - a community-wide effort taking place in 23 Monmouth and Ocean County towns that raises awareness of the importance of annual mammography, as early detection is a woman's best defense against breast cancer.

As the campaign encourages local women aged 40 and older to have their annual mammogram, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and its System Partner Meridian Health are working together on two research studies to examine factors related to the early development of breast cancer.

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The impact of genetics on the early development of breast cancer in both women and men is the focus of the Effect of DNA Variations on Breast Cancer Risk and Recurrence study. Previously, researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey discovered that some genes may be associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer while others may actually protect against development of the disease.

The aim is not only to identify genetic markers that may further explain why this happens and who may be affected, but also to understand why some breast cancers recur after treatment. Women and men aged 18 and older with no history of breast cancer, with a history of breast cancer, or with a history of a breast abnormality indicating increased risk for development of breast cancer are eligible to take part in the trial, though other criteria must also be met.

Study participants will have blood drawn for laboratory analysis and facts about participants' breast health and overall medical history will be documented. Both the blood sample and the clinical information will be analyzed and saved for possible future use.

The Women's Circle of Health study focuses on the influence of health and lifestyle factors on the early development of breast cancer in African American women. Compared to Caucasian women, African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and at a later stage, and have more aggressive features associated with a poor outcome.

The reasons for these differences remain unknown. To address these issues, investigators are conducting interviews with study volunteers from nine counties across the state. Women meeting the eligibility criteria will be asked to give demographic and medical information, as well as reproductive, lifestyle and diet histories. Saliva and tumor samples also will be collected for molecular analyses. Participants do not need to take any medications.

"Paint the Town Pink is a powerful community campaign emphasizing the importance of breast cancer prevention, detection and annual mammography. It's also a great way for Monmouth & Ocean County residents to learn about the important breast cancer studies conducted by Meridian's Clinical Research Department.

Together with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we are developing and offering studies that will ultimately help improve breast cancer research and care," notes Mark Krasna, M.D., Corporate Medical Director of Oncology, Meridian Cancer Care.

To learn more about these and other clinical trials available at Meridian Health, please call Meridian Health Research Services at 732-776-2953; e-mail; or visit us at