CPIC Starting New California Teachers Study Work

February 2013

Dear Get In Front Supporter,

February is National Cancer Prevention Month! In this issue, we recognize this important month by presenting to you our vision for the future of cancer prevention research. We highlight our newest research funding for our work with the groundbreaking California Teachers Study, as well as CPIC findings that have recently made international news headlines. We also report the results of the Matching Gift Challenge 2012, which are impressive, thanks to you, our supporters. So we may better serve our donors, we hope that you’ll give us your feedback via our donor survey. And if you haven’t registered for our upcoming breast cancer conference, now is the time. Thank you for your support!

Future of Cancer Prevention Research Holds Great Promise, Says CPIC Director of Research

CPIC research scientists with Director of Research Ann Hsing, Ph.D., seated rightAccording to CPIC Director of Research Ann Hsing, Ph.D., it’s an extraordinary time to be conducting cancer prevention research. Scientists at CPIC and elsewhere are now able to make paradigm-shifting discoveries, thanks to new technologies and innovations, such as more efficient ways to obtain information from biological specimens and the use of mobile phones to capture health data. They are also identifying treatable health conditions that would otherwise develop into cancers. Looking to the future, Dr. Hsing says, “In addition to making use of cutting-edge methods in CPIC studies of cancer risk factors, I would like our work to span the whole gamut of cancer prevention, from the human cellular level to the societal level.” She envisions further developing education and early detection efforts by encouraging cancer prevention-related vaccinations, as well as more screenings for early detection of cancers, particularly among those most at risk. “My ultimate goal is to use our thorough cancer prevention approach in California’s ethnically rich and diverse population as a model for future national and international cancer prevention efforts.”

Watch video of Dr. Hsing on the future of cancer prevention research work

The Pipeline: Building the Biobank

CPIC won seven new or continuing research grants in January. The largest of these will support CPIC’s work as part of a study, led by City of Hope, that will obtain new biospecimens from participants in the California Teachers Study (CTS), in order to enhance its research potential. As part of this landmark effort, study scientists - which include CPIC’s Research Scientist Tina Clarke, Ph.D. – will work to obtain 21,000 additional blood and saliva samples from 44,000 CTS participants, thereby creating a biobank for the study. Combined with the extensive environmental and lifestyle data already collected from CTS participants, the new biobank will position the CTS to identify new biomarkers for cancer. The California Teachers Study will thus make even greater contributions to scientific research in the continuum of discovery, validation, and translation of new information about cancer on the way to personalized medicine.

Learn more about our recently funded work

Research Finding from CPIC and Collaborators Makes International Headlines

CPIC scientists and their collaborators at Duke and UC San Francisco recently released their finding that women with early stage breast cancer treated with lumpectomy plus radiation may have a better chance of survival than those who underwent mastectomy. “Our findings showed better survival among women treated with lumpectomy plus radiation regardless of the hormone sensitivity of the tumor or the age of the patient,” says CPIC Research Scientist Scarlett Lin Gomez, Ph.D., one of the study's authors. The study results — which made international headlines and appear in the Jan. 28, 2013 online version of the journal CANCER — raise new questions as to the comparative effectiveness of breast-conserving therapies such as lumpectomy, in which only the tumor and surrounding tissue are surgically removed. These results are particularly relevant in light of the recent increases in numbers of women - particularly younger women with very early stage cancers - opting for mastectomy over lumpectomy and radiation.

Watch coverage of the findings on CBS Evening News

Behind the Scenes: Directing CPIC Development & Communications

Meet Dori Ives, Director of Development and Communications for CPIC. Dori is a veteran fundraiser with 20 years of experience in drawing people together to support a cause. At CPIC, she uses her expertise to design programs and campaigns that keep the public informed about CPIC’s work and findings, and helps people connect and effectively partner with CPIC to advance cancer prevention. Dori is happy to report that, thanks to the generosity of its supporters, CPIC exceeded its goal for the Matching Challenge 2012, providing $144,248 in resources to prevent cancer before it starts. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support for our cancer prevention mission that enabled us to achieve our matching challenge goal,” says Dori. “At CPIC, we strive to appreciate and understand all of our donors and what motivates them to support us, so we hope as many people as possible participate in a survey we’ve just developed to help us do that.”

Tell us what you think! Respond to CPIC’s donor survey

12th Annual Allison Taylor Holbrooks/Barbara Jo Johnson Breast Cancer Conference Will Have Something for Everyone

CPIC is sponsoring the 12th Annual Allison Taylor Holbrooks/ Barbara Jo Johnson Breast Cancer Conference on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 8:00 am to 3:20 pm at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco. The conference, which is part of CPIC’s work to reduce the burden of cancer, will have something for everyone. It will be especially valuable to those who have been recently diagnosed, those in treatment, those out of treatment, caregivers, family members and friends, and health care providers. The program is consistently recognized for the high quality of its featured speakers. This year, the diverse list of presenters includes physicians, nurses, social workers, patients, attorneys (for estate planning and employment issues) family members and friends of patients, agency leaders, and more. CPIC Research Scientist Peggy Reynolds, Ph.D., will present information on environmental issues and breast cancer. The deadline to register for the conference is February 26, 2013. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Find out more about the conference and register

© Cancer Prevention Institute of California