Volunteers sought for 20-year cancer study at Albany Med

Participants are being sought for a 20-year cancer prevention study that experts say has the potenti

Participants are being sought for a 20-year cancer prevention study that experts say has the potential to prevent the disease in future generations.

The American Cancer Society seeks to enroll 300,000 adults from various racial and ethnic backgrounds between now and December 2013 in Cancer Prevention Study-3, the fourth study the organization has undertaken since the 1950s.

At least 500 participants are being sought from the Capital Region.

How to enroll

Men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are eligible to participate in CPS-3. Enrollment will take place:

• Thursday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave.

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harriman State Campus, Building 8A, state Department of Taxation

and Finance, Albany

• Sunday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Making Strides Against Cancer Walk, Washington Park, Albany

The new study is designed to help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, behavioral and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

The predecessors to the CPS-3 study were used to establish similar links, said Rufus Collea, a medical oncologist with New York Oncology Hematology at Albany Medical Center and chief medical officer for the Capital Region ACS.

“It was through these initial trials that a number of laws were passed and public campaigns were waged that have dramatically decreased the amount of use of tobacco products in our country. Furthermore, through these laws, approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population is now protected from secondhand smoke,” he said.

The new study will not only provide data that will help researchers better understand what factors cause or prevent cancer, it will also offer an opportunity for the public to do something tangible to help fight the disease.

“This is something that we can do. We can be a part of a trial that may change the landscape of cancer for years to come,” Collea said.

Volunteers eligible to participate in the study are men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer.

According to Collea, people who have had simple skin cancers may enroll, but no one who has been diagnosed with melanoma.

Enrollment in the trial involves signing an informed consent form; completing a comprehensive survey that includes information on lifestyle, behavioral and other factors related to health; taking a waist measurement; and giving a blood sample. There is no charge to participate.

James Barba, president and CEO of Albany Medical Center, called the enrollment process a minor inconvenience. Taking a survey, getting your waist measured and some blood drawn “are nothing compared to what we hope and expect the results to this very, very important trial are going to be,” he said.

Albany Med is encouraging its 7,200 employees to enroll in the study. Prior registration for enrollment is suggested. To schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-888-604-5888.

Once an individual is enrolled, the ACS will send out follow-up surveys every year or two to obtain updated health information. The organization will also send annual newsletters with study updates and results.

The time commitment involved in participating in the study is minimal, Collea said.

Researchers in the ACS’s Epidemiology Research Program will use the data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from the series of ACS studies that began in the 1950s. The Hammond-Horn Study of 1954 and Cancer Prevention Studies 1 and 2 have 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 impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions.

CPS-2, which began in 1982, is ongoing but changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the 30 years since its launch prompted the initiation of the CPS-3 study.

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