APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The Angiogenesis Foundation's Eat to Defeat initiative seeks to harness its scientific expertise on the natural process of angiogenesis to intercept the cancer epidemic through promotion of cancer-fighting preventative behaviors. To address the issues of safety, equity, economy, and accessibility in combating cancer, the Foundation will harness the power of the Internet, social and traditional media, as well as leaders of public health, and the food, hospitality, and entertainment industry, to provide unbarred access to knowledge about cancer-preventing dietary interventions. Because the Internet is being used by an increasingly large segment of the American population, even among the most disadvantaged demographics, the Foundation's utilization of mass communication and social media will extend to nearly all segments of society. Recent data suggests that 61 percent of all American adults directly utilize the Internet to find health information. Moreover, 74 percent of adults and 94 percent of teens are regular users of the Internet. African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos are the most active users of mobile web.
The Foundation's approach is transformative because it seeks to combat cancer on a social level by directly targeting behaviors related to its development (i.e. food choices), rather than addressing cancer through expensive, invasive, and toxic treatments. The pharmaceutical paradigm for cancer treatment has failed to deliver optimal solutions and outcomes for both the individual and the health system. The Foundation's Eat to Defeat initiative empowers individuals to become consumer activists who have increased autonomy in making health-related decisions and in determining their own health outcomes. Studies suggest a recent upsurge in consumer activism in wellness and disease prevention, with 45 percent of Americans reporting that they believe food can be used as a means for cancer prevention. By harnessing the power of mass communication and social media to spread knowledge and affect change, coupled with a consumer-directed movement in favor of wellness, the Angiogenesis Foundation will positively alter a fundamental health behavior directly linked to the development and prevention of cancer: diet.
In this commitment, the Foundation will mobilize its existing internal and external databases to identify dietary sources of anti-angiogenic activity that are known to have anti-cancer properties in well-designed epidemiological studies. This database will be curated as a registry and updated as new information emerges. Through collaborations with researchers, epidemiologists, and food industry experts, the database will be used to generate practical information that could be used by the consumers, such as recipes, food facts, and cooking tips. The level of scientific evidence will be appropriately assigned to the information, and an epidemiological health and diet survey will be constructed. The public will be engaged through television, Internet, and radio media, and will be invited to participate in a case-cohort study of unprecedented size (N=one million), with analysis performed on completed questionnaires. The study participants will be comprised of the one million individuals who commit to our Eat to Defeat pledge, tracked through an Internet sign-up system. Prospective studies of participants will then be conducted to analyze correlations between cancer incidence, sense of well-being, and productivity influenced by dietary choices identified in this program. The outcomes will be statistically analyzed, publicly presented, and published with key participants from academia, government agencies, and industry.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
August 2010: Database interrogation for dietary sources of anti-angiogenic cancer preventative substances; identification of cancer preventative foods; development of questionnaire; writing and production of diet-related materials; strategic alliance development with media outlets and events; engagement of online partner for website design, development, and database management.
September 2010: Website launch, initiation of recruitment of participants.
October to June 2010: Continued content rollout, initial assessment of behavior change, initial analysis for case cohort study.
July 2010 to September 2011: Interim analysis of data and questionnaire results.
October 2011 to September 2015: Completion of recruitment, initiate prospective scheduled engagement and queries for behavior change and health outcomes.
This initiative will produce five main deliverables:
- Dietary cancer-prevention database
- Health questionnaire
- Program website with multimedia capabilities
- Participant community
- Preliminary analysis of diet, cancer risk, and behavior change
Angiogenesis is the natural process used by the body to grow new blood vessels. The healthy body maintains its blood vessels to be in a continuous state of balance. Cancer develops into a disease when abnormal cells overcome this balanced state and grow new blood vessels that feed tumors. This process of abnormal angiogenesis is common to every form of cancer. Accordingly, targeting angiogenesis provides an opportunity to prevent cancer by suppressing the undesired blood supply. This approach, called 'anti-angiogenesis,' is a new modality to treat advanced cancer. The Angiogenesis Foundation is now committed to employing this approach to prevent cancer.
The potential for foods that contain naturally occurring anti-angiogenic activity to prevent cancer has been identified. Simultaneously, population-based studies provide convincing human evidence that regular consumption of these same foods reduce cancer risk.
The need for effective cancer prevention measures is urgent and growing. From 2010 to 2030, the United States population will increase by 19 percent, while cancer incidence will grow at a disproportionate rate by 45 percent , from 1.6 million to 2.3 million. During this same period, the U.S. demographic makeup will also undergo rapid change, with 72 million baby boomers aging to 65 years or older, and the number of minorities increasing to 157 million. Because cancer occurs disproportionately with aging, and in minorities (due to social inequalities that impede prevention and access to good standard care), the rising cancer epidemic has serious implications for the public health of the entire nation.5
The human toll of cancer is matched by its economic impact on both the health care system and the community. In 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health estimated the total economic burden of cancer to be .1 billion- .2 billion in direct medical costs and .9 billion in indirect costs because of lost productivity due to morbidity and mortality. Additionally, cancer treatment costs are rising each year to unsustainable levels, further exacerbating disparities in access to care. To overcome the social and economic barriers inherent to the current medical approach to cancer, effective preventative strategies that are safe, equitable, affordable, and accessible must be implemented.
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Folkman J. What is the evidence that tumors are angiogenesis-dependent? J Natl Cancer Inst 1900 Jan 3;82(1):4-6.
Albini A, et. al. Molecular pathways for cancer angioprevention. Clin Cancer Res 2007 Aug 1;13 (15 Pt.1):4320-5.
American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta, GA. 2009.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The social life of health information. Pew Internet & American Life Project 2009 2009. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/8-The-Social-Life-of-Health-Info...
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Generations Online in 2009. Pew Internet & American Life Project 2009. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Generations-Online-in-2009/Gener...
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Mobile Access 2010. Pew Internet & American Life Project 2010 Available at: <http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010.aspx>
Dolliver M. 'Wellness' goes mainstream. Adweek. August 24, 2010. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/agency/e3ia4556ea7eb5985d2...
The Eat to Defeat commitment is seeking: resources to fund, develop, market, and distribute Eat to Defeat products to consumers; large food and beverage manufacturers and distributors; partners to support media and marketing campaigns and program outreach
The Eat to Defeat commitment is offering collaborative access to a database of 42,000+ individuals interested in lifestyle and health, across 195 countries, for research aligned with our commitment.