4/23/13: Erie County, Health Care Partners Announce Cancer Study

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:10pm

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Poloncarz, Burstein Join Partners in Call for Enrollment in American Cancer Society’s CPS-3 Study

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein were joined by Gretchen Leffler, Regional Vice President of the American Cancer Society; Dr. John Fudyma, Associate Medical Director at the Erie County Medical Center Corporation (“ECMC”); Dr. Raghu Ram, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY (“BCBSWNY”); Dr. Andrei Gudkov, Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Garman Family Chair in Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (“RPCI”); and Steve Finch, Plant Manager for General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant, in calling for local participation in an historic, nationwide cancer study that aims to help researchers better understand the factors that cause cancer, thereby increasing the ability to identify and prevent it.

Cancer Prevention Study-3 (“CPS-3”) seeks to recruit men and women between the ages of 30 and 65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to commit to a long-term study. The study affords a chance for residents to take an active part in the fight against cancer while also helping researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that can cause or prevent cancer. A nationwide effort, CPS-3 hopes to attract a diverse population of 300,000 participants from across the United States.

“CPS-3 represents an opportunity for Erie County residents to take action against cancer, and through that action to bring hope to future generations. By taking part in this study, we have a chance to play a role in fighting cancer, and potentially in finding new ways to prevent it and treat it,” said Poloncarz. “For anyone who has had a family member or friend fighting cancer, or wants to get involved in a positive effort to benefit others, I encourage their participation in this study.”

“We know that regular cancer screenings, such as mammograms, Pap tests, and colorectal cancers screening tests, and vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B vaccines, can prevent certain forms of cancer,” added Commissioner Burstein, who is enrolled in the study.  “But we need to know more about how our lifestyles and genetic make-up affects our cancer risk. CPS-3 provides Erie County residents with the opportunity to make that happen.”

“CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer,” said Gretchen Leffler. “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. The American Cancer Society’s 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.”

“ECMC is dedicated to excellence in patient care, and clinical research is an important component of the care ECMC provides,” stated Dr. John Fudyma. “Through participation in numerous trials, ECMC is able to offer patients the latest clinical therapies. ECMC is therefore supportive of the American cancer society and CPS-3, which will enable researchers to better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can cause or prevent cancer and save lives.”

Dr. Raghu Ram said, “On behalf of the region’s leading health plan, we are pleased to announce our commitment to this important study. We are encouraging our employees, our members and our corporate neighbors to make the commitment today and pay it forward for tomorrow’s generation.”

Previous Cancer Prevention studies, such as CPS-1 & 2 and the Hammond-Horn Study, have added greatly to researchers’ understanding of cancer prevention and risk and have contributed to the development of public health guidelines and recommendations in health areas such as smoking and obesity. The current study, CPS-3, actually began in 1982 and is ongoing, but changes in lifestyles and in the understanding of cancer itself in the over 30 years since the study’s inception make it logical to begin a new effort.

“The first two Cancer Prevention studies were landmarks in our global understanding of the causes of cancer, and we can expect the same dramatic impact from this study,” said Dr. Andrei Gudkov. “CPS-3 will help us understand the interplay between genetics, lifestyle and environment in development of cancer, giving scientists vast amounts of data on which to build new strategies for interfering with and preventing those processes.”

Steve Finch said, “On behalf of General Motors Tonawanda Engine and UAW Local 774 joint leadership, we are proud to be a sponsor and host location for this very important study. Many of our employees and their families have been affected by one form of cancer or another, so it makes perfect sense for us to join forces with the American Cancer Society and take part in CPS-3. We believe it will help us ‘finish the fight’ against cancer and we strongly encourage everyone that is able to participate in the study.”

Enrollment for CPS-3 will be held June 18th at the Edward A. Rath county office building and at ECMC, June 19th on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus at RPCI, and on June 20th at the headquarters of BCBS of WNY and the General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant.

Residents wanting to enroll in the study should register at www.cps3buffalo.org .  Participants will be prompted to choose a date and time to enroll, and will then receive a detailed email questionnaire requiring approximately 45 minutes to complete. On the day of enrollment, CPS-3 participants will bring the certificate of completion to the enrollment site, fill out basic demographic information, provide a waist measurement, and give a blood sample. Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to complete follow-up surveys periodically.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Health, visit http://www2.erie.gov/health/

On the Erie County Medical Center, visit  http://www.ecmc.edu/

On the American Cancer Society, visit  http://www.cancer.org/

On the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, visit http://www.bnmc.org/

On Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY, visit  http://www.bcbswny.com/

On Roswell Park Cancer Institute, visit  http://www.roswellpark.org/

On General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine Plant, visit