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Does cancer run in my family?

SJFAMILY research study aims to find out.

Learning Why Some Cancers Run in the Family

The SJFAMILY research study is gathering information to help researchers understand why some people are more likely to get cancer than others, and why cancer can affect more than one person in the same family. The study could also help us find out why some people get more than one cancer during their lifetime. 

Were you or a relative diagnosed with one or more cancers before age 50?

You may be able to enroll in the SJFAMILY study. We are looking for:

  • People who had cancer before age 26 AND have at least one close relative who had cancer before age 51
  • People who had more than one cancer before the age of 51
  • People who have a known cancer predisposition syndrome
  • People who are related to individuals who have a cancer that may run in their family 

If you to take part in the SJFAMILY study, we will ask you to:

  • Give a small blood sample – about 1 to 2 tablespoons, or less if you are a child.
  • Answer questions about your health, now and in the past.
  • Answer questions about your family’s health. We will ask at least one of your blood relatives to join the study. We will not do this unless you and your relative tell us it is OK.
What are genes? Genes are instructions that tell our cells how to function. The complete set of human genes is called our genome.

We are using an advanced technology called genomic sequencing. Another term for this is DNA sequencing. Changes in certain genes can cause cancer to happen. We will use genomic sequencing to look for the gene changes that could tell us why cancers sometimes run in families.

This is a research study and does not take the place of clinical genetic testing. You may not benefit from taking part in this study. You also may not find out what makes cancer run in your family or what makes you or your family members likely to get more than one cancer. Nevertheless, what we learn could help other children and families with cancer.

If you are interested in joining the study or have questions, please call 1-844-680-4045 or email