Since June, 15 D.C. chefs have been trying out a new recipe — one that calls for more exercise and a healthful diet. The results of their 12-week weight-loss competition will be revealed tonight at the American Cancer Society’s Taste of Hope (Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW; 7:30 p.m., $150).
Attendees sampling the cuisine and cocktails can expect to see quite a few baggy chef coats. Headed into the final weeks of the competition, event host Mike Isabella had already lost 30 pounds. R.J. Cooper of Rogue 24 was down nearly 40 pounds. And Pizzeria Orso’s Will Artley was more than 50 pounds slimmer than when he started.
More importantly, all of the competitors have reduced their risk factors for cancer. And that’s something science understands only because of a much larger group of people who have pitched in to help fight for a cure: the thousands of subjects in the American Cancer Society’s long-term studies.
Back in 1952, the group started its research by examining the link between cigarettes and lung cancer. Subsequent studies have shown the impact that weight, physical activity and diet have on cancer risk. Now, recruitment is underway for Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3,
which has the potential to help scientists understand much more about the genetic components of the disease, says CPS-3 strategic director Alpa Patel.
The goal is to sign up at least 300,000 subjects across the country for the study, with nearly 1,000 from the D.C. area. To be eligible, people must be between the ages of 30 and 65, have never been diagnosed with cancer and be willing to undergo the initial enrollment process. (That consists of a survey to fill out at home, followed by an in-person appointment to measure waist circumference and draw blood.)
After that, participants will have to update their information every two years or so. Over the 20 years of the study, “it’ll probably be the amount of time you spend in one day at work,” Patel says.
It’s a longer-term commitment than the one the chefs made this summer, but helping find the cure for cancer is a pretty rewarding job.
Local enrollment for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3, began last week and will end Nov. 9. People interested in participating should go to cancer.org/cps3 for details, and to learn more about the requirements. The appointments to draw blood and measure waist circumference are 20-30 minutes. There is no cost to enroll, and everyone in CPS-3 will receive an annual newsletter with updates about findings from the research.