Local residents called on to participate in historic cancer research effort
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Residents of Bell and McLennan counties have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a historic study that, with only minimal effort, has the potential to change the face of cancer diagnosis and treatment for future generations.
Men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to participate in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).
CPS-3 will enroll a diverse population of up to half a million people across the United States and Puerto Rico.
The opportunity for local residents to enroll in CPS-3 is being made possible in the community through a partnership between American Cancer Society (ACS) and Scott & White Healthcare.
Enrollment will be taking place at various locations throughout Bell County from March 20–31 and in McLennan County from April 10–14.
Community members who are interested in participating in this study can find locations and schedule and appointment to enroll by logging on to cancerstudy.sw.org or by calling (800) 604-5888 beginning today (Appointments are not required).
CPS-3 will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.
"My mom is a two-time cancer survivor and I'm doing all I can to make sure my children don't have to say that.... I really believe this (CPS-3) is part of the answer," stated one study participant.
To enroll in the study, individuals will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form; complete a comprehensive survey packet that asks for information on lifestyle, behavior, and other factors related to your health; have waist circumference measured; and provide a small blood sample.
Upon completion of this process, the ACS will send periodic follow-up surveys to update participants' information and annual newsletters with study updates and results.
The in-person enrollment process takes approximately one hour.
Periodic follow-up surveys are expected to be sent every few years.
"Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, 'What caused my cancer?' In many cases, we don't always know the answer," said Subhakar Mutyala M.D., Director of the Scott & White Cancer Institute. "CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer."
Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3 added, "Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved."
Researchers will use the data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from a series of American Cancer Society studies that began in the 1950s that collectively have involved millions of volunteer participants.
The Hammond-Horn Study and previous Cancer Prevention Studies (CPS-I, and CPS-II) have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk, and have contributed significantly to the scientific basis and development of public health guidelines and recommendations.
Those studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions.
The current study, CPS-II, began in 1982 and is still ongoing.
But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the more than two decades since its launch make it important to begin a new study.
The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come.
"Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey — and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future — is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made. We're looking for more like-minded individuals to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations," said Dr. Patel.