OHSU Cancer Institute Researcher, Cancer Survivor to Ride with Lance Armstrong in Tour of Hope

06/28/04    Portland, Ore

Cross-country bicycle relay raises awareness of cancer research

Brandon Hayes-Lattin, M.D., will ride his bike across mountains and over plains - relaying almost 3,500 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., - to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer clinical trials.

Hayes-Lattin, an assistant professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and a member of the OHSU Cancer Institute, is one of 20 cyclists selected from nearly 1,200 applicants to team up with cancer survivor and five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope for this extraordinary journey across America.

Hayes-Lattin, a six-year testicular cancer survivor, is a medical oncologist who cares for patients and conducts research on immune therapies against cancer, including bone marrow transplantation. "It is important to me that myths associated with cancer research and clinical trials be dispelled, since research is the way we advance cancer care," Hayes-Lattin said.

More than 60 percent of children with cancer are enrolled in cancer clinical trials, compared with just 5 percent of adults with cancer. Clinical trials have helped increase the cure rate in childhood cancer from 30 percent to 75 percent in the past three decades.

The team will depart Los Angeles on Friday, Oct.1, and will be joined by Lance Armstrong at points along the way before being welcomed in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Oct. 9. The public also will be invited to show the riders their support at various points along the route.

The OHSU Cancer Institute was designated a Clinical Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute in 1997. The only NCI-designated cancer center between Sacramento and Seattle, the OHSU Cancer Institute comprises some 120 researchers and physicians who are specialists in fields ranging from specific types of cancer - such as leukemia, prostate cancer and pediatric cancers - to epidemiology and bioinformatics.

For more information on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope, visit www.tourofhope.org

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