Launch of Canadian 30-Year Cancer Prevention Study



    MONTREAL, June 11 /CNW/ - Today marks the official launch of The Canadian
Partnership for Tomorrow Project - a study of 300,000 Canadians that explores
how genetics, environment, lifestyle and behaviour contribute to the
development of cancer.
    The largest of its kind in this country, the pan-Canadian study will
track randomly selected Canadians (ages 35 to 69) for at least the next 20 to
30 years. It will gather information on health and lifestyle through surveys
and the collection of blood and other specimens. The information will help
researchers, policy-makers and others understand how different combinations of
risk-factors lead to cancer.
    "This is a landmark moment for Canada," said Jeff Lozon, Chair of the
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer - an independent organization funded by
the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control that is
providing funding for the study. "Every Canadian is touched by cancer -
whether personally or through family or friends. The Canadian Partnership for
Tomorrow Project will build an enormous bank of information that Canadian and
international researchers can draw upon in the short-term and create a legacy
for future generations."
    "The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is an example of how
Canada is forging ahead as a leader in the field of cancer prevention research
worldwide. Over the coming years, this study will be a major contributor to
global research to identify the causes of cancer and ultimately prevent people
from getting the disease in the first place," said Federal Health Minister
Tony Clement.
    The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is being driven forward by
partner organizations in five regions: the BC Cancer Agency, the Alberta
Cancer Board, Cancer Care Ontario with the Ontario Institute for Cancer
Research, Quebec's CARTaGENE project, and Cancer Care Nova Scotia with
Dalhousie University collaborating for work in the Atlantic Provinces. Study
funding is comprised of $42 million in support from The Canadian Partnership
Against Cancer, along with regional commitments of $41 million. These
committed funds will be leveraged to trigger further investment with an
anticipated total of more than $100 million in six to nine months.
    "We need to better understand how and why people develop cancer in the
first place, and to do that we must explore how our environment, lifestyle and
genetic make-up interact to create cancer risks so that we can better address
them head on," said Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President, Cancer Control,
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. "This is a complicated set of diseases.
We have made significant progress in preventing many cancers and in managing
and treating others, but the information from this research will fuel better
prevention and screening programs - the cornerstones of reducing the number of
Canadians getting cancer."

    How the Study Works

    The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is a prospective cohort
study, meaning researchers will follow a large group of people over a long
period of time. It is designed to regularly capture data from average
Canadians who are randomly selected from a wide range of backgrounds and
regions. The goal is to secure a more complete picture of people's health and
habits including what they eat and how much they exercise, as well as
environmental variables such as where people work and live. The impact of
screening and prevention programs will also be assessed. The goal is to enroll
300,000 people and follow them over the duration of the project.
    Researchers will regularly examine the data and, in the short-term,
expect to gather insight into how Canadians are responding to public health
and prevention programs. Longer-term, researchers will be looking for patterns
among people who develop cancer. Over the life of the study, researchers will
be able to test theories about cancer risks, and will be able to map the onset
of other life-threatening and chronic diseases such as heart disease and
diabetes.

    The Gold Standard

    "This is the gold standard of cancer studies. By using modern data
collection and exposure measurements - and focusing on environmental and
lifestyle risk factors - this study will make a major contribution to
worldwide research," says Dr. Bryant. "Unlike studies that examine
retrospectively the causes that may have led an individual to develop cancer -
relying on a person's recall of habits and exposures - this study will allow
researchers to regularly consider an impressive array of complex variables
that would not be otherwise possible to capture."
    The pan-Canadian project is built on the successful foundation of the
Alberta Cancer Board's Tomorrow Project, which has enrolled 30,000 people.
Useful insights into lifestyle factors that may contribute to cancer are
already being generated from that work. Examples include determining factors
that predict use of cancer screening tests and barriers affecting
participation in physical activity.

    About The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

    The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization
funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for
all Canadians. We are bringing together cancer survivors, patients and
families, cancer experts and government representatives to implement the first
pan-Canadian cancer control strategy. Our vision is to be a driving force to
achieve a focused approach that will help prevent cancer, enhance the quality
of life of those affected by cancer, lessen the likelihood of dying from
cancer, and increase the efficiency of cancer control in Canada.
    "Partnerships such as this study are the cornerstone of our
organization's mandate of working together to accelerate action on cancer
control for all Canadians and we are pleased that our support is allowing a
project of this magnitude to become a reality," says Jessica Hill, Chief
Executive Officer, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
    For more information, please go to: www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.

    ATTENTION TELEVISION ASSIGNMENT/PRODUCERS

    B-roll will be distributed via satellite feed at 11:00 a.m. EST on
    Wednesday, June 11, 2008.

    The satellite coordinates are as follows:

    Anik F2 C
    Transponder 3B
    Audio subcarrier 6.2 and 6.8
    Downlink frequency 3820 vertical

    On-Demand Coordinates / URL:

    http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=74

    For technical information DURING the satellite feed, please call CNW at
(416) 863-5615


    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    





For further information:

For further information: Julie Holroyde, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416)
413-4625; Polly Thompson or Sarah Hicks, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer,
(416) 915-9222


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