The Barbados National Cancer Study (BNCS)

Project investigators and Personnel:

Anselm Hennis (CDRC), Celia Greaves (CDRC), Nastassia Rambarran (CDRC), Ian Hambleton (CDRC), Rachel Harris (CDRC), Pissamai Maul (CDRC), Wendy Browne (CDRC), Shirley Reeves (CDRC), Helen Hackett (CDRC).

Funding and collaborators:

The BNCS is a collaborative effort of The Ministry of Health and The University of the West Indies, Barbados; Stony Brook University, NY, Translational Genomics, AZ, National Human Genome Research Institute USA and The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. Funding for the Barbados National Cancer Study is provided by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, US. Grant # R01CA114379.

The following investigators and personnel comprise the members of the BNCS Group:

  • Coordinating Center:M. Cristina Leske, MD, MPH; Barbara Nemesure, PhD; Suh-Yuh Wu, MA; Karen Kelleher; Melinda Santoro: Department of Preventive Medicine, University at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY.
  • Clinical Center: See list of Project investigators (above).
  • Local Laboratory Center: Lyndon Waterman, PhD; Ronald Worrell, BSc: University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Gene Discovery Center: John Carpten, PhD; Jeffrey Trent, PhD: TGen Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ
  • NHGRI: Joan Bailey-Wilson, PhD: National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD
  • CRCH: Gita Sharma, PhD: Cancer Research Center, Hawaii
  • Scientific Advisory Committee: Agnes Baffoe-Bonnie, MD, PhD; Louise Brinton PhD, MPH; Olufunmilayo Olopade, MB, BS, FACP; Tim Rebbeck, PhD; Duncan Thomas, PhD
  • Barbados Advisory Committee: Professor Trevor A. Hassell, GCM, MBBS, FRCP, FACC; Professor Henry Fraser, GCM, MBBS, FRCP, FACP; Dr. Gina Watson, MD, MPH, MSc; Dr Joy St. John, MBBS, MPH; Dr. Jerry Emtage, MBBS, FRCS(C); Mr. Selwyn Ferdinand, MBBS, FRCS (Edin); The Honourable Mr. Justice W. Leroy Inniss QC (Ret.); Dr. Timothy Roach, MBBS, FRCP

Background and Aims:

The Barbados National Cancer Study (BNCS) aims to determine the environmental and genetic risk factors linked to the development of breast and prostate cancer in Barbados.


The BNCS is a prospective, population-based, case-control study.

Progress update/results:

The study began recruiting incident cases of these cancers from July 2002. The breast cancer study was completed in March 2007 while prostate cancer research is still ongoing. Between July 2002 and March 2006, 241 breast cancer cases and 481 female controls participated in the epidemiological study. As of 28 February 2010, 890 prostate cancer cases had participated in the BNCS and the prostate cancer control participants numbered 860. These figures represent a participation rate of 78% and 80%, respectively, for all persons histologically diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer nation-wide. The rate of participation for controls is similarly high, at 82% (breast cancer controls) and 80% (prostate cancer controls). Data collection on prostate cancer cases and controls will end on 31 January 2011. Analysis of data from the breast cancer arm of the study is currently ongoing, and several peer-reviewed papers have already been published on select aspects of the findings.

Impact/expected impact:

The high rates of participation in the BNCS put the study on track to deliver high quality results, enabling a significant contribution to the understanding of cancer risk factors in Barbadians.

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