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Lance Armstrong to visit the Siteman Cancer Center on cross-country bike tour

Contact:
Nicole Vines
314.286.0105
vinesn@msnotes.wustl.edu

Sept. 17, 2003 – As part of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope, cancer survivor and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will make an exclusive appearance in St. Louis at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital Oct. 15 to promote cancer research.

Armstrong is leading a team of 26 riders on the weeklong Tour of Hope bike ride across America to tout cancer research and encourage the public to be aware of the importance of cancer clinical trials. The Tour of Hope team is made up of cancer survivors, physicians, caregivers, healers, advocates and researchers who share the mission of helping future generations move closer to the ultimate goal — a cure.

As part of the Tour of Hope visit, the Siteman Cancer Center will host a free public event from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Armstrong will talk at noon about his experience with cancer and the debt he feels to the patients before him who participated in cancer research.

"It is admirable that Lance is embarking on this crucial campaign, and we are honored that he has chosen to include the Siteman Cancer Center," says Timothy Eberlein, M.D., director of the Siteman Cancer Center. "Clinical trials are critical for advancing patient care and hopefully this event will encourage more people to participate in cancer research."

Those attending the Forest Park event will be eligible to win prizes, including a Trek bike, photo opportunities with Armstrong and copies of his latest book, Every Second Counts. Entertainment will feature the St. Louis Sprockets, a professional bike stunt team. Music and health information also will be part of the festivities. Participants must be registered by noon and present at the event to win prizes.

According to the National Cancer Institute, up to 90 percent of children with cancer participate in clinical trials but fewer than 5 percent of adults do. Clinical trials, in which patients volunteer to undergo medical approaches being tested, help doctors find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat disease.

Armstrong himself did not participate in a trial when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but he says this ride is a tribute to the heroes before him who participated in research that led to his successful treatment.

The Siteman Cancer Center is an international leader in patient care, cancer research, prevention, education and community outreach, and a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Last year, Washington University physicians treated nearly 6,000 new cancer patients and provided follow-up care for more than 28,000 patients. The center has more than $100 million in annual cancer-related research funding. In addition, the Siteman Cancer Center offers more than 350 clinical trials involving more than 2,000 patients each year.

Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global pharmaceutical and related health-care products company, provided drugs that helped Armstrong beat his cancer. The Tour of Hope team will relay across America around the clock Oct. 11-18 and cover 3,200 miles in this unprecedented event.

For more information about the local event, call 314.747.7222 or 800.600-3606. For more information about the Tour of Hope, visit www.tourofhope.org.

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The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

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