Project ID: 2015_006_CAM_01

Every woman can help support breast cancer research though Lifepool – a project that brings together data from a variety of sources to create a vital resource for research into breast cancer and women’s health.

Lifepool aims to gather health and lifestyle information, mammogram data and asks permission to track the health of each participant through linkage with other health databases. For participants who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or who develop breast cancer in the future, Lifepool will seek consent to access specimens from the pathology laboratory to construct tissue microarray blocks for research.

Lifepool aims to recruit 100,000 Australian women and is already one of the largest cohorts in the world. Information from such a large number of participants will enable a better understanding of the subtle interactions between lifestyle factors, family history, breast density and environmental factors. Researchers who request access to data or samples never see the names or addresses of Lifepool participants.

The majority of women who have joined the Lifepool project are also clients of BreastScreen as the project looks at providing access to mammographic data for researchers.

Lifepool represents a significant collaboration between BreastScreen, and researchers from universities and medical research institutes across Australia. Each of the Lifepool Chief Investigators are leaders in their fields with strong links to national and international breast cancer research bodies.

The researcher: Professor Ian Campbell

The Lead Chief Investigator is Professor Ian Campbell. Ian is based at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne where he heads the Cancer Genetics Laboratory. Ian’s research focuses on the genetics of breast and ovarian cancer. He has developed a strong international reputation for his investigations into the genomics of ovarian cancer precursor lesions. Ian and his collaborators have conducted research leading to the discovery of two new breast cancer predisposition genes with many others likely to be identified in the near future.

Who is eligible?

Lifepool is looking for Australian women 40 years and over who have had or intend to have a mammogram.

What does this project involve?

  • All Lifepool participants will be asked to:
  • Permit access to their mammogram data
  • Complete a Health & Lifestyle Questionnaire
  • Allow Lifepool to follow their future health through linkage with health databases such as cancer registries.
  • Allow access to clinical data if cancer is detected. (Note where participants have been or are diagnosed with breast cancer, Lifepool seeks consent to access specimens that are stored in pathology archives).
  • Being contacted by Lifepool in the future. This may be to consider donating a small (i.e. 20-30ml) blood sample for genetic studies or to consider participation in additional research related to the causes, treatment and other aspects of breast cancer and women’s health issues.

Where is the project being conducted?

The Lifepool project management team is based at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Victoria. If you express interest in participating (see the section below), Lifepool will contact you by email with further information about the project.

How do I express interest in participating?

To get more information about this project:

  • Click on “Yes, I’m interested” at the bottom of this page and follow the prompts.
  • Call us on 1300 709 485 and we can help you through the process. Register4 is an online register, so have your email address ready.

After we verify your details, we will send you an invitation email. The invitation email formally asks whether you give Register4 permission to forward your contact details to the researcher. You will also have the opportunity to specify which contact details you would like us to send to the researcher on your behalf.