ECOG: The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

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Cancer in Siblings

A study of gene characteristics and cancer in families

For patients and full blood siblings with a prior diagnosis of cancer of the breast, colon, lung, or prostate

Genes- the biological factors that determine what we inherit from our parents- are very similar in siblings (children of the same parents). Having certain genetic characteristics may make a person more likely to have cancer. Doctors want to discover if having a particular genetic characteristic will allow us to predict how likely it is that a person and his or her sibling will have a certain type of cancer.

To determine this, scientists are examining a large number of genetic characteristics in patients and their siblings who have been diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon, lung, or prostate. The information from this investigation will be used to benefit future cancer patients and may someday help to prevent cancer from occurring.

Hundreds of sibling pairs will take part in this nationwide research study, which is administered by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Questions and answers about this study

What is the goal of the study?

This study will determine whether certain gene characteristics are the same in siblings who have both been diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon, lung, or prostate.

How will this be determined?

Scientists will compare blood samples from each patient and her or his sibling to determine if the genetic characteristics are the same in the same kind of cancer. Written information about the participants' family history of cancer will also be studied.

Who is eligible?

Patients and their siblings (either a brother or a sister) who have both been diagnosed with the same type of cancer (of the breast, lung, prostate, or colon) may be eligible to participate in the study.

If I participate, what will I have to do?

You and your sibling will be required to have a sample of blood drawn. You will also be asked to provide information about other family members and cancer.

Must I take any drugs, or change my diet or other health habits?

No drugs or changes in health habits are required.

How do I participate?

If you are a patient of an oncology (cancer) doctor who is participating in this study, please ask your doctor for more information. If you are the sibling of a patient who has agreed to participate in this study, someone from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group will contact you.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you and a brother or sister have been diagnosed with:

  • breast cancer
  • colon cancer
  • lung cancer
  • prostate cancer

Should you choose to participate in this study, prior to enrollment, please obtain:

  • Verbal consent from your brother or sister that he or she is willing to participate.
  • The best time(s) for us to phone your sibling to arrange for participation, and the phone number(s) at which he or she can be reached.

Participating institutions include:

  • City of Hope National Medical Center
  • Northwestern University
    • Evanston Hospital
    • Highland Park Hospital
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin
    • VA Hospital Madison-Middleton Memorial
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center

Contact Information

For additional information about this study or to participate, please contact:

Mary Booth through email at
call our toll-free number 1-800-750-1565 and speak to Lorena Gaytan.

Protocol E1Y97 "Mapping Interactive Cancer Susceptibility Loci"
brochure revision 2/98

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All contents copyright © 1998 Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
All rights reserved.
Revised: October 6, 1998