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SWOG Update
November 2010

Welcome to the November 2010 SWOG Update.

For all members and friends of SWOG, the SWOG Update will keep you informed of what's happening with the group. News to report? Send it to

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Chair's Corner  
Nurturing cancer survivorship research in the CCOPs
Laurence H. Baker photo Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOPs) are ideally suited to conduct the sort of long-term follow-up with patients that is needed to answer questions about the late effects of treatment, toxicity, and disease. [more]

Study Updates  

notched fly wings S0933: Taking a Notch out of melanoma
The Notch receptor is a key piece of the system cells use to communicate to their neighbors and is believed to be important in cell development and differentiation. SWOG's newest study aims to interfere with the control of Notch-based function on gene expression in melanoma cells. [more]

In the News  
You, your colleagues, and your cooperative group in the media ...
  • The October 1, 2010 Cancer Letter reported that David Alberts, M.D., director of the Arizona Cancer Center and until August vice-chair of SWOG's Gynecologic Committee, received the Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2010 Clinical Research Award at that group's 27th National Oncology Economics Conference. Alberts was honored for his extensive research, leadership, and commitment to individuals with cancer.
  • Laurence Baker, D.O., SWOG group chair, was quoted in the November 16 issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin in a story on the difficulties of moving a promising treatment for Ewing sarcoma into later-phase trials, in spite of its promise. Baker said "The extent of [Roche 1507's] activity in Ewing sarcoma is nearly identical to what was seen with trastuzumab (Herceptin) in breast cancer when it first went into phase II testing."
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Research proposals for SELECT and PCPT biospecimens requested

Researchers both within and outside of SWOG interested in working with the treasure trove of biospecimens and associated clinical data from two of the largest cancer prevention trials ever undertaken can now apply for access to these resources.

The proposal request for research projects involving SWOG PCPT and SELECT biorepository resources is available online, posted along with other pertinent material at and

PCPT logo The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, or PCPT, was a SWOG-coordinated study designed to test whether the drug finasteride (Proscar®) would prevent prostate cancer in men ages 55 and older. A total of 18,882 men gave informed consent for trial participation and use of biospecimens for research purposes. The results of the study, which did suggest a preventive benefit for the drug, were published as "The Influence of Finasteride on the Development of Prostate Cancer," in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 17, 2003.

SELECT logo The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, or SELECT, was the largest cancer prevention trial ever undertaken, a phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled 4-arm study of selenium, vitamin E, selenium and vitamin E together, and placebo designed to assess the effect of these supplements on the incidence of prostate cancer. Funded by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by SWOG, the study opened in August 2001 and quickly exceeded its accrual goal of 35,533 men. In the fall of 2008, the trial's Data and Safety Monitoring Committee recommended that participants discontinue taking study supplements based on an interim finding of no preventive benefit.

The specimens available are delineated in great detail at and

For researchers who would like to submit a proposal for a project that will use PCPT or SELECT biospecimens, a Letter of Intent is due on Monday, November 29, 2010. The full application will be due on Monday, January 10, 2011. The full RFA and the online application form are also available at or

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