Women's College Research Institute

Jump to body content

Investigating Physical Activity as a Prevention Method for Familial Breast Cancer

Please note that at this time, recruitment for this study has been completed and we are no longer enrolling participants.


Our goal is to determine whether daily levels of exercise affect BRCA1 protein levels in women with and without a BRCA1 mutation. The results of this research will contribute to improving breast cancer prevention strategies for women and families with a BRCA1 mutation.

Please see the information letter.

Who Can Participate?

  • Women who have a BRCA1 mutation
  • Women who are at least 18 years of age
  • No personal history of any cancer
  • Women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding

Why Should You Participate?

A woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 12%. However, for women who carry a BRCA1 mutation, their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer increases to approximately 80%. The BRCA1 protein plays an important role in preventing breast cancer.  Prevention in women with a mutation is an important part of their care. Women with a BRCA1 mutation only produce half the amount of the BRCA1 protein. Our team will try to determine whether exercise increases BRCA1 protein levels.

What Does Participation Entail?

To participate, please contact the Research Coordinator, Rania, to receive a study package that includes a consent form and brief questionnaire. We estimate that the questionnaire should take about 30 minutes to complete. You will be asked to make a short 15 minute visit to the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at 790 Bay Street in Toronto. At your visit, the coordinator will receive the consent form and study questionnaire, take body measurements (e.g. height and weight) and a blood sample (20cc) will be taken from you to measure your BRCA1 protein levels

What Are The Benefits?

The results from this study may confirm that there is a potential for physical activity to cause increased production of the BRCA1 gene and/or protein in BRCA1 mutation carriers. Future studies can determine if this means reduced breast cancer risk for women and families with a BRCA1 mutation.

Jump to top page

For More Information

Joanne Kotsopoulos
Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit
Women's College Research Institute
76 Grenville Street, room 6423, Toronto, ON M5S 1B1

Phone: (416) 351-3800 ext. 2126

Email: joanne.kotsopoulos@wchospital.ca

Current Studies

Follow-up Telephone Genetic Counselling Study

Risk Factor Analysis of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

A Study of Familial Breast Cancer in BRCA-Negative Families

A Study of Familial Cancer in Jewish Women - Follow-up

Cognition in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Carriers

  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto
  • A member of:
  • Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)