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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2009


CONTACT:

Karen Mallet
215-514-9751
km463@georgetown.edu


Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Researchers Honored


Washington, DC -- The American Public Health Association has selected a prostate cancer screening educational website developed by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center as a winner in its Health Education Materials Contest.

Winners of the Health Education Materials Contest were selected from a competitive pool of materials by a panel of expert health education and promotion professionals from the Public Health Education and Health Promotion section. The Lombardi website, not yet available to the public, is part of a large, randomized study comparing it to a print booklet for men considering screening for prostate cancer. Kathryn Taylor, PhD, an associate professor in the cancer control program at Lombardi, is the principal investigator of the project. Randi Williams, MPH, the project director, will present the details of the award-winning website on Nov. 9th, during the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Philadelphia.

According to Taylor, screening asymptomatic men for prostate cancer continues to be controversial: whether early diagnosis and treatment of the disease reduces the number of men who die from prostate cancer is still unclear. Differing findings from the NCI’s Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial and the European prostate cancer screening trial highlight the fact that there is still insufficient evidence to recommend for or against prostate cancer screening.

“The primary question is whether prostate cancer screening results in overdiagnosis, which means the detection and treatment of the disease would not reduce disease-specific mortality,” says Taylor.

Ongoing trials are addressing this question, but their final results will not be available for several years. Thus, easily accessible methods for educating men about screening are needed, as men's level of awareness of the limitations of screening is low, Taylor explains.

Taylor’s study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense, will provide one of the first assessments of an interactive website designed to educate men about prostate cancer screening. The study will also assess a booklet and “usual care” (no specific education effort). The study will include 1,875 volunteers, 1500 of whom are already enrolled.

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through Georgetown’s affiliation with MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.


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