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Niagara University Professors Seek Volunteers to Advance Breast Cancer Research

March 30, 2012 by Michael J. Freedman

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Drs. Mary McCourt and Lawrence 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.

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 are encouraged to participate in the research project by registering in Niagara University’s Gallagher Center (lower level) on one of the following dates between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.:

  • Wednesday, April 11
  • Thursday, April 12
  • Friday, April 13
  • Tuesday, April 17
  • Thursday, April 19

On Friday, April 20, faculty members from NU’s Department of Nursing and Office of Health Services, along with the Sisters of NU’s Pan Hellenic Council, will gather information and collect urine samples from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. in DePaul Hall, Room 102.

All information obtained from participants is voluntary and confidential.   

Participants will be provided with a continental breakfast, a $5 Tim Hortons gift card and information about breast cancer screening and treatment options.

Dr. McCourt, associate professor of chemistry at Niagara University, and Dr. Mielnicki, director of the chemistry department’s research and teaching laboratories have received a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to conduct research exploring the development of a new, noninvasive test for breast cancer that may replace the annual mammogram. The research examines if biomarkers identified from urine samples can be used to differentiate healthy breast tissue from diseased breast tissue, potentially replacing mammograms as a primary method of breast cancer screening. They will also investigate the use of these biomarkers in identifying metastatic disease and whether the methodology could be used to follow the progression of disease and help plan treatment.

For more information, please send an email to AOWUrineStudy@niagara.edu with “Breast Cancer Collection Registration” in the subject line.

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