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Edmonton EMS staff responds to long-term cancer study

March 4, 2015

Alberta study gets major boost as researchers near goal of 50,000 participants

EDMONTON – Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff is teaming up with Alberta’s largest research study in hopes of saving even more lives.

Alberta’s Tomorrow Project (ATP) needs 50,000 participants, ages 35 to 69, who have never had cancer. A research team will follow the health of these individuals for up to 50 years in an effort to pinpoint the causes of cancer. To date, nearly 49,500 Albertans have signed up for the study, a research initiative of Alberta Health Services’ CancerControl.

Dale Weiss, EMS Executive Director for the AHS Edmonton Zone, is encouraging the zone’s 700 EMS staff to join the study providing they are eligible.

“Although this isn’t an emergency, help was needed, so we’re here,” says Weiss.

“We know that being involved in a research project like this will make a significant difference to those diagnosed with this disease.”

ATP Scientific Director Dr. Paula Robson is encouraging all eligible Albertans to follow in the footsteps of Edmonton EMS.

“Our EMS men and women work hard to save lives every day,” says Dr. Robson. “Now we are asking for the people of our province to help us do the same.”

Participants will be asked questions about their health and lifestyle, have some physical measurements taken, and give small amounts of urine and blood, or saliva. This initial appointment takes one hour.

“Alberta’s Tomorrow Project collects information and samples before diseases occur,” says Dr. Robson.

“The idea is to use what Albertans have donated to help us develop better cancer and chronic disease prevention strategies in the future.”

EMS members, support staff and members of the public interested in joining the study are invited to visit or call toll-free 1-877-919-9292.

Studies show almost half of all Albertans will develop cancer in their lifetime, and one in four will die from the disease.

Partners for ATP include AHS, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, Alberta Cancer Foundation and, at the national level, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. ATP could not occur without the generous support of our partners. ATP is part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, which is comprised of five regional health studies across Canada.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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