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American Cancer Society Launches Major New Study

The American Cancer Society is launching a major new cancer research study that may be the last best chance to do large-scale population research in the United States to discover the genetic and environmental factors that cause and prevent cancer.

The Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3) aims to enroll a geographically and ethnically diverse group of half a million adults across the United States to help pave the way for the next generation of American Cancer Society research and further advance the understanding of the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer. It is the latest in a series of important large-scale American Cancer Society studies stretching back to the 1950s that have contributed significantly to the understanding of how tobacco, obesity, diet, physical activity, hormone use, air pollution, and other factors affect the risk of cancer and other diseases.

There are no U.S. studies on the horizon positioned to take advantage of rapidly developing new knowledge and technologies over the coming decades, except CPS-3, said Eugenia E. Calle, PhD, managing director of analytic epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, who is leading the study. This type of study involves hundreds of thousands of people, with diverse backgrounds, followed for many years, with collection of biological specimens and assessments of dietary, lifestyle and environmental exposures. It also requires active follow-up to discover if and when study participants develop cancer.

Large studies of up to one million participants are being conducted in Europe, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, and even Estonia. Unlike the U.S., in many other countries, health care is administered through a national system that gives each citizen a unique identification number linking health care data and all visits to government clinics. In addition, electronic registries of disease can often be linked to study members. Another imp
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