Rochester Cancer Prevention Network Honored For Recruitment Efforts in National Breast Cancer Prevention Trial

August 04, 2000

The Rochester Cancer Prevention Network (RCPN) was one of ten sites nationwide to be recognized for their recruitment efforts in the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR), a national breast cancer prevention study. RCPN is a collaborative group that includes Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, Genesee Hospital, Rochester General Hospital and the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic. An award was officially presented to members of the RCPN’s STAR team at the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) annual conference in June. More than 500 centers across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada are enrolling participants in STAR. STAR is a study of the NSABP and is supported by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Enrollment for STAR began July 1, 1999. In the past year 6,139 postmenopausal women at an increased risk of breast cancer have enrolled nationwide in this landmark prevention study.

“As of June 30, 2000, more than 231 women from New York are already participating in STAR, including 29 women locally who have been recruited by the Rochester Cancer Prevention Network,”says Gary R. Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Director for Cancer Control and lead investigator for the Rochester site. “This trial has a five-year recruitment plan, but we hope to accomplish our recruitment goal of 100 woman within the next two to three years. We actively encourage all eligible women who live within the Rochester and Finger Lakes region to participate.

STAR is designed to determine whether the osteoporosis prevention and treatment drug, raloxifene (Evistaâ) is as effective as tamoxifen (Novaldexâ) in reducing breast cancer risk. In 1998, tamoxifen was shown to reduce the chance of developing breast cancer by about half in the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT), a study of over 13,000 premenopausal and postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of tamoxifen to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women at increased risk of the disease in October 1998. Raloxifene was shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in a study of osteoporosis. Evista is not currently approved by the FDA to reduce the incidence of breast cancer.

Women who participate in STAR must be postmenopausal, at least age 35, and have an increased risk of breast cancer as determined by their age, family history of breast cancer, personal medical history, age at first menstrual period, and age at first live birth. Participants will also go through a process known as informed consent, during which they will learn about the potential benefits and risks of tamoxifen and raloxifene before deciding whether to participate in STAR.

Potentially eligible women who are interested in participating in STAR can call Kelly A. Kita of the Rochester Cancer Prevention Network at (716) 275-STAR (7827) for more information.

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Teri D'Agostino
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