WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski has joined a bipartisan effort to combat breast cancer by signing on as an original sponsor of The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act of 2007. The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act would establish a national strategy to study the links between the environment and breast cancer. This legislation would authorize the National Institutes of Health to develop a peer reviewed research program of grants for the establishment of collaborative centers of research to study environmental factors that are believed to contribute to the development of breast cancer. “With 3 million women living with breast cancer today, the disease is taking a serious toll on the entire nation,” said Senator Murkowski. “Unfortunately, the causes of breast cancer are largely unknown. While less than 30% of breast cancers are explained by known risk factors, there is little consensus in the scientific community on how the environment impacts breast cancer. This legislation will support important research that could be valuable in understanding the causes of breast cancer and lead to prevention strategies.” Breast cancer will strike one in eight American women in her lifetime, meaning that almost 275,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed annually. It kills more than 40,000 people each year. The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act will ensure that scientists have the resources needed to explore the relationship between the environment and breast cancer. It would boost the research investment on the role of the environment in the development of breast cancer and also establish a national research strategy. Specifically, it would authorize $40 million each year for Fiscal Years 2008 - 2012 to establish multi-institutional, multidisciplinary Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Centers of Excellence. Each Center would include institutions with different areas of expertise working together as well as collaborating with community organizations in the area. Modeled after the tremendously successful Breast Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense, grants would be awarded under a competitive, peer-reviewed process that involves patient advocates. ###