January 6, 2014

Cancer society reaches study enrollment goal

Crawford: Study will impact world cancer research

By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune

---- — Research collected in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 Study will impact not only the nation, but the world, in terms of cancer research, Katie Crawford, CPS-3 specialist, said.

The study is meant to help identify new risk factors for cancer due to lifestyle, behavior and environment. People between 30 and 65 years old who have never been diagnosed with cancer were invited to participate in the study which will continue for the next 20 to 30 years.

National enrollment for the study began in 2010 and came to an end in December when enrollment bypassed the goal with 304,000 participants.

Locally, Logansport hosted one of the Indiana enrollment sites in September. The goal of enrollment in north central Indiana — at Logansport, Plymouth, South Bend and Elkhart — came short of the 300 goal with 200 people volunteering, Crawford said.

Indiana as a whole, however, passed its goal and enrolled 8,900 participants.

Research will begin now that enrollment is finished for the cancer study.

For Crawford, the experience to be involved with the study has been “overwhelming and life changing.” Crawford said every time she woke up to go to work, it was incredible to think about the difference the study could make.

“It [CPS-3] has made me a better human being and a better mother,” Crawford said. “It might quite possibly be the most impactful thing I’ve done.”

The goal of the study is to eliminate cancer and suffering for this generation as well as future generations, Crawford said.

A previous study by the American Cancer Society, CPS-2, linked smoking to cancer and as a result the tobacco packaging warnings were released, price of cigarettes increased, new policies went into effect and most public places are non-smoking.

“That wouldn’t have happened without the study,” Crawford said.

A survey of questions will be sent to participants every two to three years for the next 20 to 30 years. American Cancer Society employees are crafting follow-up surveys to send out in the next year.

Within research that is being sent out, there are smaller-scale surveys being sent to determine which questions should be asked, Crawford said. One or 2 percent of CPS-3 participants were asked to keep a 24-hour food diary to determine what type of nutrition questions need to be asked, she said.

“This research gives people the chance to fight back,” Crawford said.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or Follow her: @PharosAES.