The High-Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancers Program at the University of Vermont Medical Center is a clinical research program intended to provide research and educational opportunities for individuals with moderate to high risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer. The High-Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancers Program is available to adults of all ages with one or more risk factors for cancer.

Research Opportunities

The research program provides patients with opportunities to contribute to cancer research by participating in research studies and clinical trials that focus on cancer risk assessment, prevention and screening.

Opportunities for research participation are offered through the UVM Cancer Center. Current studies associated with the High-Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancers Program include “Clinical and Molecular Markers of Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancers (V0308)” and “The DNA Repair Landscape of Women at Risk for Breast Cancer (V1205).”

Education

Individuals who enroll in the "Clinical and Molecular Markers of Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancers (V0308)" study receive an annual educational newsletter. The newsletter reviews specific risk factors; options for cancer screening and prevention; updates on new research findings; and information about ongoing clinical studies they may participate in through the High-Risk Breast & Ovarian Cancers Program.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to participate in the research program, participants must have an increased risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer, but no prior personal history of either disease. Health care providers identify patients as having an increased risk for developing cancer if they meet any one of the following criteria:

  • A strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Strong family history is defined as one of the following:
    • Two or more first-degree* relatives with breast cancer or ovarian cancer
    • One first-degree relative and two or more second- or third-degree* relatives with breast cancer
    • One first-degree relative with breast cancer or ovarian cancer before the age of 50
    • One first-degree relative with breast cancer and one or more relatives with ovarian cancer
    • Two second- or third-degree relatives with breast cancer and one or more with ovarian cancer
    • One second- or third-degree relative with breast cancer and two or more with ovarian cancer
    • Three or more second- or third-degree relatives with breast cancer
    • One first-degree relative with bilateral breast cancer
  • A known genetic alteration in a gene associated with breast or ovarian cancer (or a family member with such a genetic alteration)
  • A prior breast biopsy showing atypical ductal hyperplasia, atypical lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in-situ
  • A history of radiotherapy to the chest
  • A modeled lifetime risk for developing breast cancer that is greater than 20%

* First-degree relatives include parents, siblings, and children; second-degree relatives include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and half-siblings; and third-degree relatives include cousins, great-grandparents; great aunts and great uncles.

For further information regarding research opportunities in the High-Risk Breast & Ovarian Cancers Program:

Please contact Melissa Cuke at 802-656-8502

For further information on clinical care and/or appointments at the UVM Medical Center:

If you think you may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer and would like to see a doctor or specialist for further assessment and care, please contact the schedulers for the Breast Care Center at 802-847-2262, and see the Breast Care Center’s website.

If you think you may be at increased risk for developing ovarian cancer and would like to see a doctor or specialist for further assessment and care, please contact the schedulers for the Outpatient Gynecology Clinic at 802-847-1400.