Volunteers needed for cancer research project
The Tomorrow Project is returning to Airdrie and organizers are looking for local residents, ages 35 to 69, to take part in the long-term research study into the causes of cancer.
The Tomorrow Project is a research initiative of Alberta Health Services (AHS), Cancer Care with the support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Researchers want to enrol 50,000 Albertans, who have not been diagnosed with cancer into the 50-year study by 2013.
A temporary study centre will be held at Airdrie’s Town and Country Centre, located at 275 Jensen Drive, on Jan. 28 and 29.
“We are really looking for an hour or two of people’s time to help us learn how to prevent this devastating disease from happening in the future,” said Paula Robson, AHS’ scientific director of the Tomorrow Project.
“This is one small thing that people can do that will help us unlock the answers.”
More than 31,000 participants have enrolled in the Tomorrow Project, including 296 from Airdrie since its inception.
Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown took part in the study when it was first in Airdrie. He said the process was simple and took about 15 minutes to complete.
He encourages residents to take part.
“The best part is the information will hopefully go towards the cure,” he said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Robson said more men are needed, as two-thirds of the study’s participants are women.
Participants will be asked questions about their health and lifestyle, have some physical measurements taken and give small amounts of urine and blood.
The samples will be frozen at -80°C and later analyzed if the individual is diagnosed with cancer. Researchers are hoping to find a connection to prevent the disease in the future.
According to Robson, researchers have learned that cancer risk is tied to both genetics and lifestyle, making the study critical.
“It is really exciting,” she said. “We would like to understand more about the causes. We are really looking for an hour or two of people’s time to help us learn how to prevent this devastating disease from happening in the future.”
Robson added Tomorrow Project researchers are working in close collaboration with four other jurisdictions working on similar projects, making the sample size significant.
Interested residents are asked to make an appointment in advance.
There is also a mail-in option for individuals who are interested in joining the Tomorrow Project but live too far away from a study centre.
For information and to join the study, visit www.in4tomorrow.ca or call toll-free 1-877-919-9292.