Donate breast milk for research

Thank you for your interest in donating milk for our research! Please consider joining our program and helping the research. We are currently looking for participants for several different studies: Breast milk cancer biopsy BRCA

Mothers who have or have had breast cancer study

We are recruiting nursing mothers living anywhere in the U.S. who have/have had breast cancer and can donate fresh or frozen breastmilk.  For more information about this study, and to participate, call (413) 545-0813, or breastmilk@umass.edu. Please click the link to learn more about our study involving lactating women with breast-cancer.

Breast biopsy study focused on nursing mothers

Participants are nursing mothers who are expecting to have a breast biopsy, and live anywhere in the lower 48 States of the U.S. For more information about this study, and to participate, call (413) 545-0813, or breastmilk@umass.edu. Please follow the link to learn more about our study involving lactating women who are getting breast biopsies.

BRCA mutation study

We are seeking the help of nursing mothers who have been tested and have a recognized pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. They should be based in the lower 48,  and able to donate fresh or frozen breastmilk. For more information about this study, go to our BRCA-study page call (413) 545-0813, or breastmilk@umass.edu.

How to participate

Contact us through the information above. If you qualify to participate in the study you will be asked to complete a consent form and a questionnaire, and to donate a breastmilk sample(s). If you are participating in the biopsy study and donating a sample from outside of our area, your sample will be sent by overnight mail at no expense to you.

How your privacy is protected

We work hard to protect your privacy. We don’t use your name in any of the research reports or publications prepared with results obtained from this study. All information obtained in this study that identifies who you are will be recorded with a code number. All our studies that involve people and human samples are first approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Massachusetts.

Why participate in this research?

Currently, there is no good way to assess a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. For example, although family history is an important risk factor for developing breast cancer, most women who develop cancer have no family history, and most women with a family history do not develop breast cancer.

Our hope is that by examining molecular changes in cells found in breastmilk associated with various breast problems, we will be able to develop a specific, individualized tool for assessing an individual woman’s risk of developing this disease. Knowledge of the molecular changes in the breast cells that occur may be helpful in developing preventative and therapeutic strategies for all women.