According to the society, the study may be the "last best chance" to do large-scale research in the United States on genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that cause and prevent cancer.
"There are no U.S. studies on the horizon positioned to take advantage of rapidly developing new knowledge and technologies over the coming decades, except CPS-3," study leader Eugenia E. Calle, managing director of analytic epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, said in a prepared statement.
She noted that large studies of up to a million people are being conducted in a number of countries in Europe and Asia. Many countries are able to conduct such large studies because they have national health-care systems that record information about patients' visits.
Enrollment in CPS-3 will take place at 64 of the 4,800 Relay for Life cancer research fundraising events taking place across the United States in 2007, and will continue at certain Relay for Life events through 2011.