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IU Simon Cancer Center researcher heads cancer study during Indiana Black Expo's health fair

  

INDIANAPOLIS -- (July 2 , 2009) -- A small drop of blood can provide researchers with countless clues into cancer.

You can help researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center by donating a blood sample during the Indiana Black Expo’s INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair.

The researchers are participating in the Indiana State Department of Health’s One Stop-One Stick program which allows people to donate blood and receive free screenings of their choice.

In addition to regular screenings, men and women with and without cancer can indicate they want their blood samples to be included in a study called IU-CABS – the Indiana University Cancer Biomarker Study -- led by Noah Hahn, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician/researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

The study will help identify genetic and environmental risk factors that lead to the development of cancer.

Each participant will be asked to provide a one-time blood sample and complete a basic medical history questionnaire.

Dr. Hahn pointed out that minorities have historically been underrepresented in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment studies.

“The burden of cancer in minority communities is high,” Dr. Hahn said. “Our understanding of the cancer biology in minority populations is poor. Increasing minority representation in research trials and research tissue banks is an enormous need. For us to make dramatic progress, we have to engage the community in the research process. This event is a first step.”

Since early 2007, Dr. Hahn and colleagues have worked closely with Indiana Black Expo and the Indiana State Department of Health to involve minority populations in research studies during various events. Thus far, nearly 1,500 men and women have participated with more than 400 individuals from minority populations.

“We are developing a bank that has a much higher representation of African Americans than most traditional cancer center banks,” Dr. Hahn said.

Meanwhile, representatives with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center will be on hand to talk to women about its ongoing blood and tissue sample collections.

The Komen tissue bank collects blood and breast tissue from women with and without breast cancer to determine the differences between these populations, which could lead to a better understanding of the disease. Blood and tissue samples taken from women without the disease are especially helpful because there are few collections of so-called "normal" blood and tissue.

The Komen tissue bank next hosts a collection on Aug. 8, which will take place in the Hematology Clinic and Women's Center (second floor) at the IU Simon Cancer Center, 1030 W. Michigan St. For more information, visit www.komentissuebank.iu.edu.

The IU-CABS study and the Komen Tissue Bank representatives will be located in booths 134-140 in Hall D of the Indiana Convention Center. The booths are open:

  • 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 16
  • 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 17
  • 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 18
  • Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 19

The IU Simon Cancer Center is a sponsor of this year’s INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair.