Cancer Epidemiology Research Cooperative (CERC)


In Situ Survivors Involved in Gaining Health Answers Together

INSIGHT Study Logo

Principal Investigator: Christopher I Li, MD, PhD

Co-Investigators: Kathleen E Malone, PhD; Peggy L Porter, MD
Study Manager: Sarah L Taylor (

Program Assistant: Christabel Fowler

Contact Information:

     866-352-9525 Toll Free
     206-667-5948 Fax

     The INSIGHT Study
     Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
     PO Box 19024 (M4-C308)
     Seattle WA  98109-1024

What is the INSIGHT Study?

Women diagnosed with in situ breast cancer have an increased risk of developing a second breast cancer. However, very little is known about which women with in situ breast cancer have a greater risk of developing another breast cancer.

The purpose of this study is to look for the possible causes of developing a second breast cancer among women who had an in situ breast cancer.

We would like to help improve the health of all women with breast cancer.

Who is being asked to participate?

Two groups of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, from 30 to 79 years of age, are being asked to participate in the INSIGHT Study: 

  1. Women who have been diagnosed with one in situ breast cancer, and

  2. Women who have been diagnosed with two breast cancers.

Our goal is to enroll over 1,500 women into this study.

Why is participation important?

Studies such as this compare information from people who have a particular disease to those who do not.  This type of research allows us to identify whether specific exposures increase or decrease a woman’s risk of getting a second breast cancer.

Each woman invited to participate in INSIGHT is incredibly valuable. Since we are unable to interview every woman diagnosed with breast cancer, participants serve as representatives for many other women just like them. The more women who accept invitations to participate, the more helpful this research will be in answering why some women get a second breast cancer. Participation by every woman invited is vital to the INSIGHT project.

Why do women who have never had a second breast cancer need to participate?

In order to find out what causes a second breast cancer, we must interview women who have had one breast cancer, as well as women who have had two. We need to compare similarities and differences between the two groups to learn more about what causes second breast cancers. Each woman who agrees to participate in INSIGHT is directly contributing to a better understanding of second breast cancers.

What does participation in the INSIGHT Study involve?

A Fred Hutch interviewer will call women who agree to participate in the INSIGHT Study to arrange a telephone interview at a convenient time, including evenings and weekends. Prior to the interview, a packet of materials that will help with the interview process will be mailed to participants.

The interviewer will ask about medical history, breast cancer treatments, lifestyle, and family cancer history. The interview usually takes about 40 minutes; participants may refuse to answer any question and may stop the interview at any time.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer will ask about participation in some additional parts of the study that are optional. This will take another 15-20 minutes. For example, she will ask if participants are willing to provide a small cell sample from the inside of their mouth that can be used to study genes that may be related to breast cancer risk. Providing the cell sample is a simple, painless procedure that involves spitting into a small container that we will provide. Participants do not need to agree to provide a cell sample in order to participate in this study.

Is information kept confidential?

Absolutely. Interviews will only be identified by a number.  All the information provided will be kept strictly confidential, and will only be used for research to increase our knowledge of breast cancer.

The funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).