The Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology is one of the leading centres for research into the genetics of cancer. The Centre carries out association studies in breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers, to identify and characterise susceptibility loci. It is the co-ordinating centre for three large international consortia in these areas - BCAC (breast cancer), PRACTICAL (prostate cancer) and CIMBA (BRCA1/2 carriers) – that contain data from over 200,000 individuals from over 100 studies. Laboratory analysis takes place at Strangeways Laboratory and at collaborating laboratories. These studies include genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and large-scale follow-up, and fine-scale mapping. There is also an epidemiological study of families with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations (EMBRACE), identified through clinical genetics centres in the UK and Eire . This study provides the basis for a long term, comprehensive evaluation of genetic and lifestyle modifiers of cancer risk. The Centre is also developing new studies based on resequencing to study rare variants and cancer susceptibility.
The Centre’s aims are: to identify cancer predisposition genes; to define their frequencies, associated risks and their interaction with environmental risk factors and to evaluate strategies for avoiding inherited risks of cancer. It is also actively involved in developing statistical methodology.
The Centre is primarily funded by Cancer Research UK.
Our cancer studies started in 1996 with the ABC (Anglian Breast Cancer) Study. In 1999 we started recruiting patients with ovarian cancer.
A small number of men and women have inherited faulty genes which means that they at an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Two of these genes are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. When someone has a fault in these genes they are more likely to develop cancers of the breast, ovary or prostate.