SEATTLE — Dec. 27, 2005 — Many people start the new year with well-intentioned resolutions that by mid-January often seem as stale as the fruit-cake crumbs hiding under the sofa. Those seeking a little extra incentive to get off the couch and make a difference in 2006 might consider participating in cancer-prevention research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Several studies are seeking local healthy participants, including one that may help those who resolve to shed those extra holiday pounds: an exercise study to assess the effect of physical activity on breast-cancer risk. Other projects recruiting participants include food studies to help determine how fruits and vegetables may influence the body's cancer-fighting ability and drug studies to evaluate the potential of various cancer-prevention agents, such as aspirin.
In addition to the satisfaction of helping in the fight against cancer, the side benefits of participating in prevention research — depending on the study — could include working out for a year at a state-of-the-art exercise facility under the guidance of an exercise specialist, receiving a month of free prepared meals, getting free cancer screenings and earning some extra cash.
To learn more about Hutchinson Center prevention studies that are accepting eligible participants, visit http://www.fhcrc.org/donating/other/study/ or call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, 1-800-4-CANCER.
The NEW Study — The Nutrition and Exercise Study for Women aims to recruit more than 500 Seattle-area women for a study that examines the effects of exercise and nutrition on breast-cancer risk factors. The study seeks healthy, overweight and sedentary postmenopausal women (ages 50 to 75) who are willing to travel to Fred Hutchinson for a yearlong exercise or nutrition intervention. Those who qualify must be willing to not participate in any other exercise or weight-loss programs during the 12-month study enrollment
The TEAM Study — The Effect of Aspirin on Mammogram Density Study seeks to recruit 144 local women for a study to determine whether a daily dose of regular-strength (325 mg) aspirin decreases mammogram density when taken for six months. Mammogram density appears on a mammogram as a whitish cloudiness, thus making mammograms more difficult to read.
The ExCel Study — The ExCel Study for Women seeks to determine whether a certain medication can reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. The drug being tested is exemestane, a drug that reduces the production of estrogen. Participants will be randomly assigned (like the toss of a coin) to take exemestane alone or receive placebo medications. Participation will last five years. This international, multicenter study will involve more than 4,560 women. The Hutchinson Center aims to recruit 200 Seattle-area participants.
The DIGEST Study — The Dietary Influences on Glucuronidation (DIGEST) Study is one of two studies being conducted at the Hutchinson Center that seek to determine how the interplay of genes and diet - in particular, a diet rich in plant compounds - may affect the function of the body's detoxifying machinery. A subset of participants in the DIGEST study will be asked to complete a month-long feeding study during which the Hutchinson Center will provide all meals.
Shift Worker Study — More than 300 Seattle-area female hospital and laboratory workers are needed to participate in a study investigating the impact of night-shift work on biological factors, such as hormone levels, which may increase the risk of breast cancer. Participants will receive payment for completing the study. Recent studies suggest that women who work the night shift are at an increased risk of breast cancer, most likely because disruptions in the sleep/wake cycle and exposure to light at night may affect endocrine function and the regulation of hormones most directly involved in the development of breast cancer. This study is the first of its kind to investigate the direct influence of working night shifts on reproductive-hormone levels that may affect breast-cancer risk.
The PROGRESS Study — The study aims to find the genes responsible for prostate cancer that runs in families. Finding these genes may provide clues to help diagnose, treat, cure and even prevent the disease. However, of the hundreds of families that have participated so far in this genetic family-based study, only a few have been African-American families. At least 50 African-American families are needed for the data collection to be complete. Because African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality from prostate cancer of any group in the world, it is important for them to be represented in the study.
For more information about these studies, please go to http://www.fhcrc.org/donating/other/study/
or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.