Saturday, October 1, 2022

UChicago Medicine launches new study to find causes and prevention of cancer

The University of Chicago Medicine hopes to enroll 50,000 people to participate in a new national study designed to find out more about the causes of cancer and how to prevent it.

Academic Health Systems has partnered with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, for the Connect for Cancer Prevention Study (CONNECT). Connect will track participants over time with the goal of identifying factors that may affect a person’s cancer risk and other health outcomes. The team says the findings have the potential to influence public health and cancer prevention guidance for years to come.

Connect is an important and timely initiative to make impactful cancer precision health discoveries that will improve prevention, early diagnosis, and better cancer outcomes in America.”

Habibul Ahsan, MD, dean of population and precision health, Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago

Ahsan is the principal investigator of the study.

The study will be housed at UChicago’s Institute of Population and Precise Health (IPPH), led by Ahsan.

UChicago Medicine is one of nine health care sites nationwide participating in this research effort. Collectively, the health care system expects to enroll 200,000 participants over the next five years. The nationwide effort aims to recruit people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to ensure that the study’s findings benefit a broader number of people.

“Connect will explore novel and emerging risks that may affect cancer risk,” said Montserrat García-Closas, MD, DRPH, deputy director of the NCI’s Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and principal investigator of the nationwide effort. “This study will change the future of cancer prevention.”

Eligible participants are between the ages of 40 and 65, have no history of invasive cancer, and are members or patients of UChicago Medicine.

Participants will be asked to complete online health surveys several times a year and donate blood, urine and saliva samples every two to three years. Confidentiality and confidentiality safeguards will be put in place to protect the participants’ data and biological samples.

“We are confident this research will provide insight into preventing the enormous burden of cancer and give us important insights into the causes of this disease,” said principal co-investigator Brice Eschbrook-Kilfoy, PhD, MPH, CONNECT and scientific director . IPPH. “This will yield important knowledge that will help us in the future to improve tailored treatments and outcomes for cancer patients and hopefully even prevent disease.”

UChicago Medicine, an academic health system based on the South Side of Chicago, was chosen for this project because of its long history of building large and diverse population health groups in Chicago and globally.

“It is important that tailored prevention and treatment discovery is inclusive and relevant to our patient population and the communities we serve,” Eschebrook-Kilfoy said. “IPPH has led the country in including diverse study participants in other national studies, and we hope to bring significant diversity to Connect.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, and cases are expected to increase over the next decade with changes in the age and lifestyle of the nation’s population. Communities in Chicago, and especially those living on the South Side, suffer from many health disparities, including cancer rates. Connect to Hyde Park and surrounding communities provide opportunities for participation in biomedical research for underrepresented groups.


University of Chicago Medical Center

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