Zen and the Art of Quitting Smoking

cig-buttToday, researchers at Fred  Hutch publicly launched WebQuit.org, a website and research study to test two online smoking-cessation programs to learn which is most effective. Preliminary studies have shown that these programs are 50 to 300 percent more effective than traditional approaches to smoking cessation. WebQuit.org offers participants expert guidance and support to help them quit smoking, including a step-by-step guide, tools to help deal with urges to smoke, and help staying motivated while quitting.

Although the website opened to the public today, the program, led by Dr. Jonathan Bricker, is in its fourth year at Fred Hutch. Dr. Bricker first heard about acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in 2004. ACT is a general approach to behavioral intervention that encourages people to step back, notice the thoughts and cravings that lead to their destructive behaviors, and accept them. By not acting on urges, they fade away, allowing people to commit to the core reasons they want to change their behavior. Knowing the ACT approach could work for smokers who want to quit, Dr. Bricker set out to test his theory.

smart-quit-phoneAlong with his team of researchers in Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division, Dr. Bricker has been developing the program since 2008, testing it with a phone-delivered program, group therapy sessions, and the WebQuit site, which before today was only open to clinical trial participants. A smartphone app, SmartQuit, is now also in testing. One early participant in Dr. Bricker’s study, who has now gone three-and-a-half years without smoking, called the approach “Zen and the Art of Quitting Smoking.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and the majority of lung cancer cases — approximately 80 percent — are related to tobacco use. Each year, more Americans die of lung cancer than of breast, colorectal, ovarian, and prostate cancers combined. Despite these statistics and numerous public-health campaigns aimed at curbing smoking, 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women smoked cigarettes in 2012, with about 78 percent of these people smoking daily, according to the American Cancer Society.

If you or someone you know is over the age of 18, smokes daily, and would like to quit smoking in the next 30 days, encourage them to visit WebQuit.org to learn more and sign up for this innovative online quit-smoking program.

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    SCCA Clinical Trial Openings

    stemcellsListed below are clinical trials that have opened at SCCA in the last several weeks. These trials are looking at new treatments for patients with advanced or metastatic cancersmall cell lung cancer, and triple negative breast cancer, and cancer survivors who have had radiation therapy. For more information about these trials, click on the links below. Check out our website to learn about the more than 200 ongoing clinical trials at SCCA. And follow us on Twitter at @SCCA_Trials for information about recently opened trials.

    MPDL3280A + Cobimetinib for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Cancer
    A Phase 1b Study of the Safety and Pharmacology of MPDL3280A Administered With Cobimetinib in Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors

    Alisertib (MLN8237) in Combination With Paclitaxel for Small Cell Lung Cancer
    A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Alisertib (MLN8237) in Combination With Paclitaxel Versus Placebo in Combination With Paclitaxel as Second Line Therapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC).

    Monitoring Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (8132)
    Intensive Trial of OMics in Cancer (ITOMIC) 001- Intensive Longitudinal Monitoring in Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

    Low-Dose Tamoxifen to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Cancer Survivors who Received Radiation Therapy (7908)
    Low-dose Tamoxifen For Radiation-Induced Breast Cancer Risk Reduction: A Phase IIB Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

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      141 Days Until Obliteride

      ObliterideLogoToday is officially the first day of spring, which also means there are only 141 days left until this year’s Obliteride, a bike ride benefitting our partner organization Fred Hutch. Take advantage of the season’s increasing daylight, warmer temperatures, and blooming flowers by grabbing a bike, getting outside, and preparing for this year’s ride, which will take place August 8-10.

      Last year was the first year of Obliteride, and the inaugural event raised $1,923,008, every dollar of which went to cancer research at Fred Hutch. This year’s ride features some scenic new routes, ranging from a single-day ride along Lake Washington to a two-day ride that tours the Kitsap peninsula.

      Between the 25-mile, 50-mile, 100-mile, and two-day 150-mile routes, everyone from a beginning rider to a seasoned racer can find a distance that suits their abilities. Expert tips and training plans for each distance are available on the Obliteride website. This year’s event will also include a 1-mile route for kids so the whole family can get in on the fun. If you’re not able to ride this year, you can still get involved by volunteering or fundraising as a “virtual rider.”

      trainingwheelsSo, what are you waiting for? Welcome the start of spring by marking your calendars for the weekend of August 8-10, choosing a distance to ride, registering either as an individual or part of a team, checking out the fundraising tips, and heading outdoors with your bike to get ready for this year’s Obliteride.

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        IPCR Symposium Coming April 12

        ipcr-logoThe Institute for Prostate Cancer Research (IPCR) is once again holding its annual patient education symposium on April 12, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Pelton Auditorium over at the Hutchinson Center. The IPCR is a collaboration between Fred Hutch and UW Medicine and its mission is to understand the causes of prostate cancer and its progression, develop new prevention strategies, devise innovative diagnostics, and improve survival and quality of life. This year’s symposium is divided into three sessions–Prostate Cancer Risk and Prevention in 2014; Advances in Managing Localized Prostate Cancer; and Advances in Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer–and will feature physicians/researchers from UW Medicine, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Fred Hutch.

        The event is free to the public, but you need to RSVP by April 1 to attend. Last year’s event was standing-room only, so don’t delay. The easiest way to register is online. You can also email nklemfus@seattlecca.org or call (206) 288-6630.

        If you’d like a sample of what to expect at this year’s event, check out this post with links to videos from last year’s symposium, including one from Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Marni Stott-Miller that addresses the link between fried foods and a heightened risk for developing prostate cancer.

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          Dr. Patel to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to Help Build Cancer Center in Tanzania

          dr-patel-climberThis Sunday, March 16, SCCA’s Dr. Shilpen Patel  will embark on a seven-day climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of a fundraising effort to build a cancer center in the surrounding community of Moshi, Tanzania. The hospital in Moshi, at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, serves 11 million people, but that region of Tanzania does not currently have a cancer center.

          Dr. Patel will climb with Radiating Hope, an organization dedicated to improving cancer care, specifically radiation oncology care, around the globe. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Africa, killing more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Most people living in developing nations do not have access to radiation therapy, a vital part of treatment for many cancer types, due to the lack of radiation equipment.

          Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, at 19, 341 feet, and Dr. Patel raised more than $11,000 in donations in support of his climb, all of which will go toward the new cancer center at the mountain’s base. Dr. Patel and the rest of the team will carry prayer flags to fly at the summit inscribed with the names of individuals who have faced the struggle of cancer head on.

          We wish Dr. Patel the best of luck on his climb!

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