For the past two years, the American Cancer Society has been enrolling people across the country in its latest research project, cancer prevention study-3, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star. In the first week of October, eight of Indianapolis’ major employers will contribute, signing up people at their work sites.
So far, about 1,200 in the Indianapolis area have enrolled in the study, and the organization is hoping to bring in an additional 1,000 new participants during the October effort, communications manager Brandi Davis-Handy said. The national goal is to recruit 300,000 people by the end of 2013.
Indianapolis is the second city to hold a mass enrollment. Atlanta, home to the cancer society, recently held a similar enrollment.
Studies such as this play an integral role in the battle against cancer, said Linda Wilgus, executive director of Northwest Radiology Network and volunteer chair for the local project. "Once we find why someone gets cancer, we can then figure out how to prevent it," Wilgus said.
Enrollment requires participants to complete a brief questionnaire; get height, weight and waist measurements; and provide a blood sample. Over the next 20 years, participants will be asked to fill out follow-up questionnaires.
Once all 300,000 participants are enrolled -- the study already is a third of the way there -- cancer prevention study-3 will be the largest study ever to collect blood samples from all participants, said Alpa Patel, strategic director of the study.
The blood samples will allow researchers to look at the role genetics can play in cancer. The questionnaires will provide clues to the role of lifestyle choices in cancer, Patel said. Waist measurements will help determine how bad visceral fat -- the extra pounds carried around essential organs -- is for a person, Patel said.
Each year, about 7,500 people in Central Indiana are diagnosed with cancer, or about 20 a day, said Linda House, executive director of St. Vincent Care, one of the participating employers.
For three days during the October sign-up period, St. Vincent will allow its employees to sign up on work time and invite all hospital visitors to participate, House said. This is the first time that the hospital has taken part in such an initiative.