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Working Group Seeks to Increase Cancer Prevention Awareness

Working Group Seeks to Increase Cancer Prevention Awareness

WASHINGTON—The Cancer Prevention Working Group (CPWG), a consortium of leading oncologists, researchers, and patient advocates, has proposed the development of a National Cancer Prevention Education Program to increase professional and public education on the need for screening and risk assessment and to communicate cancer prevention models that incorporate appropriate use of chemopreventive agents.

Participants at the group’s 2001 meeting attributed the lack of awareness to the prevalence of conflicting messages about cancer prevention—messages that confuse the public and physicians alike.

"Cancer is preventable. Each of us can play a role by adopting healthy behaviors, using effective screening procedures routinely, and knowing our risk factors," said Bernard Levin, MD, vice president for cancer prevention, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "We also need to work closely with the FDA to continue our research into identifying new surrogate endpoints for clinical trials and new approval standards for promising drugs to recognize the unique balance of risk and benefit that these new agents represent."

The group also commented that while many managed health plans are ready to adopt chemoprevention strategies, in many cases not enough evidence of the efficacy of these agents has been presented to drive reimbursement standards.

The CPWG was established in 1999 with sponsorship from Pharmacia/Pfizer. For more information, contact Cindy Russo at 908-901-8581. 

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