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April 2021 cancer Research

"Because of You" April E-Update Focus: CANCER RESEARCH

As our CEOs Against Cancer Chapter celebrates it's 10th anniversary, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Research program simultaneously celebrates 75 years of commitment to progress in the fight against cancer.

Below are a few highlights from our Chapter's efforts to ensure cancer research continues to accelerate...

Launch of Cancer Prevention Study-3 and Recruitment of Participants

The Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) is a large, geographically and racially/ethnically diverse US cohort of 300,000 participants who were cancer free when they enrolled from 2006 to 2013.

In December 2013, the American Cancer Society launched Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) when ACS completed its initial recruitment. Eligible men and women across the United States were asked to enroll in study participation to help better understand the role that a person's lifestyle, genetics, and the environment affect cancer, and how we can better prevent the disease. Participants were asked to complete two steps for enrollment, one in person and one at home. Several of our Chapter Member companies volunteered to host enrollment sites and with their help, the Society was able to reach and exceed our nationwide goal of 300,000 enrollees. The following companies/organizations helped St. Louis enroll nearly 2,000 participants in the area; Ameren, UMB Bank, KPMG, Edward Jones, Centene, Siteman Cancer Center, Maritz, Bayer (formerly Monsanto), the Los Angeles Rams (formerly St. Louis Rams), University of Missouri and the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and Saint Louis University Hospital.

“If participating in this study means that even just one person could be spared a cancer diagnosis, it would be the most important and meaningful action to fight cancer. " - 2014 CPS-3 Participant

CPS-3: Where Are We Now?

Starting in 2015, every 3 years, ACS has sent out follow-up surveys to ask for both new and updated information, such as exposure to COVID-19 or changes in weight, diet, and physical activity. These triennial follow-up surveys also ask about recent cancer diagnoses and many other medical conditions and medications.

The CPS-3 study will last 40 years. We mailed our first follow-up survey in 2015 and will continue to send one every 3 years until the year 2043. We sent out our latest follow-up survey in 2021.

CPS-3 is committed to incorporating the latest technologies into every aspect of our research, including data collection and analysis, participant engagement, results delivery, and data security. We are in the process of expanding a CPS-3 Participant Portal, to improve communication with our participants and streamline the process of volunteering and participating in sub-studies. Learn more: cancer.org/cps

ACS Research Grantee Spotlight

Many cancer patients and survivors lack adequate health insurance coverage. People who are uninsured or under-insured have a greater chance of having cancer diagnosed at a later stage, when it is harder to treat. Cancer patients who lack adequate health insurance also have a higher chance of dying from cancer compared to patients with adequate insurance.

Mary C. Politi, PhD, interviewed cancer survivors to understand the challenges they face in selecting and using health insurance. Many survivors said that they weren’t clear about the cost of their cancer care and what their insurance would cover.

Politi used her findings to create a cancer-specific health insurance decision-support tool called Improving Cancer Patients' Insurances Choices (I Can PIC).

It shows cancer patients a personalized out-of-pocket cost estimate for different insurance plans, gives tips on how to use insurance, and lists resources for financial and emotional support.

A randomized clinical trial with cancer patients and survivors showed that patients using I Can PIC felt more confident in understanding health insurance terms than those using a generic tool. They also report a smaller financial burden.

By helping cancer patients and survivors better understand and make an informed choice about health insurance, this tool could improve patients’ access to care. It may also help reduce financial distress and improve how well patients do after cancer treatment.

"Fund A Need" at our 6th Annual Champions of Hope Gala on November 6th will be restricted to cancer research in Missouri.