Breastmilk Research – newsletter post – January 21, 2020
Hi, this is a first newsletter posting for our breastmilk research since we started studying breastmilk in 2004. That’s a long time ago, but we won’t wait another 14 years before posting our next newsletter. We plan to write at least four newsletters a year. The idea is that study participants can now stop in and checkout content whenever they wish, all without infringing on the contact rules of our IRB protocols (we are limited to the number of times a year that we can contact you).
For many of you, your annual contact is with Dr. Sarah Lenington, so it’s about time you met her. Sarah has been an amazing and invaluable team member; sending you your check-up emails since 2008. The annual follow-up is critical to interpreting the results of the DNA methylation analyses.
We have been busy studying your breastmilk and interpreting results; we’ve published 23 papers using breastmilk. You can read all of our breastmilk publications at http://www.breastmilkresearch.org/publications/.
We’ve learned that biomarkers of breast cancer risk are detectable in breastmilk. In future posts, we’ll talk about results from specific projects. Possibly most importantly, we’ve convinced other researchers and funding agencies that studying the cells in breastmilk can greatly increase our understanding of how breast cancer develops, which will lead to improved therapies and novel approaches for prevention.
We are now attempting to modify volunteers eating habits because we think we have strong enough data on the ability of our methylation markers to estimate risk. We are monitoring DNA methylation in breastmilk and looking to see if markers of risk decrease in women on a high fruit and vegetable diet. Read about our diet intervention study to reduce biomarkers of breast cancer risk http://www.breastmilkresearch.org/new-moms-wellness-study/.
Thank you to all of you who have participated in this breastmilk research and donated your milk.
Best wishes for 2020, Kathleen 1/21/2020