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September 21, 2011
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate to play key role in historic cancer study

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Upstate Medical University has been selected by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to serve as an enrollment site for an historic ACS study that has the potential to change the face of cancer 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 ACS’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“CPS-3 will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer,” said Leslie Kohman, M.D., medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center at Upstate Medical University. “Upstate and the American Cancer Society have a wonderful collaboration established with both patient care and research. The CPS-3 study further confirms our joint mission to fight cancer by offering our Upstate community the chance to participate in this research study, to literally, make cancer history. We are delighted that Upstate has been selected as an enrollment site for CPS-3.”

CPS-3 will enroll a diverse population of up to half a million people across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Enrollment events will be held October 12 to 15 at two Upstate locations, as well as at all three YMCA of Greater Syracuse branches. At Upstate, onsite enrollment will be held Oct. 12, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., in the small cafeteria at Upstate University Hospital. Enrollment appointments will also be held in Conference Room 1 and 2 at Upstate University Hospital at Community General Oct. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Enrollment and participation involves four simple steps:

• Prior to enrollment day, participants must register online for an enrollment appointment. A health history survey will be emailed to the participant.

• Participants should complete the survey and bring the final confirmation page with them to their appointment.

• At the scheduled appointment, participants will complete another brief survey, provide a waist circumference measurement and provide a blood sample.

• After the initial enrollment, participants will be emailed a brief follow up survey every two to three years to complete and return.

“Many individuals who are diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., of the ACS who serves as the principal investigator of CPS-3. “CPS-3 will help us to better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.” Patel 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.”

ACS 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 initial enrollment process takes about 45 to 60 minutes. Periodic follow-up surveys of various lengths are expected to be sent every few years to individuals. The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come. “Taking less than an hour 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 in Syracuse to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations,” said Patel.

For more information visit, email, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

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