Cancer Research

[ Cancer Prevention ]

The BATI-NCORP (National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program) offers patients the opportunity to participate in trials of new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.  Equally important will be efforts to discover methods to improve quality of life, reduce recurrence, optimize symptom reduction, eliminate over- and under-diagnosis, and manage pre-cancerous lesions by utilizing advanced imaging and genetic tools.

Brenda Shank, MD, PhD
Past-Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology                                                 
Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, New York

Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology Department
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

The Bay Area Tumor Institute has been selected by the National Cancer Institute to participate in cancer prevention and symptom management clinical trials.

Cancer prevention is the action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is reduced, reducing the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Examples of currently available Cancer Prevention Research Trials available to the Bay Area Tumor Institute include:

Colon Cancer Prevention Trials

SWOG S0820: Prevent Recurrence of High Risk Adenomas and Second Primary Colon Cancer

Colorectal adenomas are tiny growths in the colon that may eventually lead to cancer.  The purpose of this study is to determine if eflornithine and sulindac, taken alone or in combination, can decrease the risk of high-risk adenomas or second primary colorectal cancers in patients who have been treated for Stage 0, I, II, or III colon cancer.  ("Second primary colorectal cancer" means a new colorectal cancer developing within the colorectum.)  The study drugs eflornithine and sulindac are tablets which are taken orally.  Sulindac is commercially available but is not approved for this indication.  Oral eflornithine is an investigational agent and not approved by the FDA. About 1,488 people will take part in this study.

Breast Cancer Prevention Trials

NSABP B-43: HER2 Positive DCIS

This study is being done to compare the effects, good and/or bad, of adding the drug trastuzumab (also called Herceptin®) to breast radiation therapy.  Radiation therapy is the standard treatment for patients with DCIS. This study will find out if adding trastuzumab to breast radiation therapy is more effective than radiation therapy without trastuzumab in preventing occurrence of breast cancer in the same breast, in the other breast, or in other parts of the body in patients with HER2-positive DCIS. This study will find out if adding trastuzumab to breast radiation therapy is more effective than radiation therapy without trastuzumab in preventing occurrence of breast cancer in the same breast, in the other breast, or in other parts of the body in patients with HER2-positive DCIS. About 2000 women from different cancer centers will take part in this study.

SWOG S0812: Affects of Vitamin D in Premenopausal Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer

A biomarker is a biologic test (for example, a mammogram, tissue or blood test) which may predict who will develop breast cancer in the future.  The purpose of this study is to seeif vitamin D affects breast tissue by reducing breast tissue thickness (the amount of glandular breast tissue compared to fat) on a mammogram (a special imaging exam of the breast that uses x-rays) and if it reduces the growth of breast cells.  Also, they want to find out what effects on the breast and also side effects vitamin D has.  Vitamin D is a natural vitamin supplement.  Currently, tamoxifen is the only drug approved to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk premenopausal women.  However, tamoxifen does not prevent all breast cancers.  Therefore, we are testing vitamin D to see if it affects the breast tissue. Participants in this study have a risk of breast cancer greater than other premenopausal women. About 200 women will take part in this study.