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IU Simon Cancer Center's tissue bank collecting samples Aug. 8

INDIANAPOLIS -- (July 23, 2009) -- Although Hispanic women tend to develop breast cancer less than Caucasian women, it is usually more aggressive and advanced when they do develop it.

That difference is one puzzle that researchers with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center hope to address by encouraging women, especially Hispanic women, to donate a breast tissue and blood sample.

The cancer center’s Komen Tissue Bank is collecting breast tissue and blood samples from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 in the Hematology Clinic and Women's Center (second floor) in the new patient building of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, 1030 W. Michigan St.

Parking is available across the street in the Vermont Street Garage on the Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus.

“Breast cancer develops and spreads in a different manner in Latin women than in women from other races. By donating, researchers around the world will have access to Latin women breast tissue to study how it develops and evolves,” Ivanesa Pardo M.D., of the IU School of Medicine, said. Dr. Pardo is a volunteer with the cancer center’s Komen Tissue Bank.

Dr. Pardo pointed out that Latina women are 2.7 times more likely than other races to have an advanced cancer, which lessens the effectiveness of treatments.

What to Expect During the Donation Process

During the donation process, a tissue sample is taken from one breast with a needle and local anesthesia. The amount of tissue taken is about one gram (or the size of two peas).

To participate, women must:

  • be age 18 or older
  • have the ability to understand and the willingness to sign an informed consent
  • be willing to give one hour of their time to complete a questionnaire and a breast biopsy
  • not be allergic to local anesthetics (numbing medicine)
  • not be receiving a therapeutic blood thinner (this does not include aspirin)
  • not have breast implants or have had a breast reduction

To register, visit www.komentissuebank.iu.edu or contact Pat Mitchum at (317) 274-2366 or pamitchu@iupui.edu.  Donors must have a confirmed appointment time.

By collecting samples from women with and without breast cancer, researchers will be able to determine the differences between these populations, which could lead to a better understanding of the disease. Samples taken from women without the disease are especially helpful because there are few collections of so-called "normal" specimens. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center will ultimately give researchers valuable and unprecedented research data.