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Breast Tissue Study of Breast Diseases Among Women in Hong Kong

This study is enrolling participants by invitation only.
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) ) Identifier:
First received: June 20, 2013
Last updated: April 26, 2017
Last verified: April 24, 2017


- The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the National Cancer Institute are conducting a breast tissue study in connection with another study on breast health. This larger study will look at breast health in women who live in Hong Kong. Women in the breast health study will provide a breast tissue sample during biopsy surgery. Researchers want to use part of the sample to study changes in breast tissue that are related to breast diseases. This sample study is part of the larger study.


- To look at changes in breast tissue that are related to breast diseases.


  • Women who are participating in the Hong Kong breast health study.
  • Participants must be having a biopsy to remove breast tissue for study.


  • Participants will have a biopsy to remove a breast tissue sample. Most of the sample will be used for diagnosis. A portion of the leftover tissue will be used for this study.
  • No extra surgery will be required.
  • Treatment will not be provided as part of this study.

Breast Cancer

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Characterization of Molecular Subtypes of Breast Cancer and Their Relationships With Known Breast Cancer Risk Factors Among Chinese Women in Hong Kong - A Pilot Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To assess technical feasibility of collecting fresh frozen breast tissues and formalin-fixed parafin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks from Hong Kong breast cancer cases [ Time Frame: 12/30/2018 ]

Estimated Enrollment: 500
Study Start Date: June 7, 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 31, 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 31, 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Background: Breast cancer incidence is increasing rapidly among many Asian populations primarily due to the adaptation of a Westernized lifestyle. However, Asian women seem to have a distinctive profile of breast cancer that differs from that seen in Western populations, such as earlier age at onset, more advanced stage, and higher frequency of ER-negative tumors. The disproportionally high rates among younger women were also seen among U.S.-born Asian women, such as Chinese, Filipina, Indian, and Pakistani women. These findings suggest that Asian breast cancer may have a distinct etiology that is not fully explained by adapting a westernized lifestyle. Recent molecular studies have suggested that breast cancers comprise several biologically and clinically distinct tumor subtypes. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that associations with breast cancer risk factors may vary by tumor subtype. However, most previous studies were conducted in Western populations; large, population-based epidemiologic studies characterizing molecular subtypes of breast cancer in Asian women are limited. In this study, we would like to characterize the molecular profile of breast cancer among Chinese women in Hong Kong and associate the molecular features with clinical and etiologic factors. An improved understanding of the inter-relationships among age, breast cancer subtypes, and race/ethnicity is critical for the development of targeted prevention and the best and most efficacious therapy.

Objectives: To assess the technical feasibility of 1) collecting fresh frozen tissues and fixed tissue blocks from breast cancer cases in Hong Kong, and 2) conducting tumor profiling analyses in the collected tissues.

Eligibility: Breast cancer cases who are participants in an ongoing breast cancer case control study among Hong Kong women (Night shift and breast cancer: a case-control study among Hong Kong women, led by Dr. Tse at Chinese University in Hong Kong) and who will receive surgery at the North District Hospital, HK, in 2013.

Design: In this feasibility study, we plan to collect fresh frozen and fixed tissues (tumor and adjacent normal) from approximately 100 breast cancer cases who have given consent to participate in our breast tissue collection pilot study. DNA and RNA will be extracted from frozen tumors and assessed for quality and yield. We will then conduct expression profiling analysis in a subset of cases (N approximately 10) to determine the quality of RNA in molecular profiling analysis. We will also determine whether there are enough epithelial benign and tumor tissues for the construction of tissue microarrays (TMAs). The results from this feasibility study will inform our decision on whether or not to pursue a large scale study.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 100 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Subjects who are participants in an ongoing breast cancer case-control study among Hong Kong women (Night shift and breast cancer: a case-control study among Hong Kong women, led by Dr. Tse at Chinese University in Hong Kong) and who will receive surgery at the North District Hospital, HK, age 18-100 years, inclusive.


Males, non-Asians, and children under 18 years will be excluded.

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01885039

North District Hospital
Hong Kong, China
Yan Chai Hospital
Hong Kong, China
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Principal Investigator: Rose Yang, Ph.D. National Cancer Institute (NCI)