Nested prospective case control study in breast and colorectal cancer of a new biomarker for sugars intake and impact of biomarkers on risk assessment of diet in relation to cancer

  • Topic: Combination of Cancers
  • Institution: University of Cambridge
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Status: Completed

Scientific abstract

(View plain language abstract)

With WCRF funding, a biomarker for sugars intake was previously developed, by this research group which has recently shown to be strongly associated with risk of obesity. As both sugars intake and obesity are associated with cancer risk at a number of sites, the study applies this new biomarker to a nested case control study of breast and colorectal cancer, and, together with other biomarkers - both existing and currently under development - to specifically assess measurement error in dietary reports from individuals who are overweight. In our recent work, reports of intake of vitamin C, sugars and protein from individuals whose body mass index (BMI) was <25 were significantly associated with biomarkers (p<0.001) whereas in those whose BMI exceeded 30 there was no relationship (p> 0.05). A similar relationship was seen with two other well established biomarkers, plasma vitamin C and urinary urea. Intake of vitamin C may have been over-reported and sugars under-reported.

Urine samples from 600 cases of breast and colorectal cancer and four matched controls (n = 3000), together with those from 1000 randomly selected men and women across the range of BMI in the EPIC Norfolk cohort will be analysed for urinary sugars, urea, sodium and potassium. Odds ratios for risk of cancer and relationships with these and other biomarkers across sex specific quintiles of BMI will be investigated. These data and associated factors will be used to assess (i) risk of increased sugars intake in colorectal and breast cancer and (ii) measurement error and ways of correcting for it in estimations of risk from diet in cancer prevention.

Plain language abstract

With WCRF funding, we previously developed a biomarker for sugars intake, which we have recently shown to be strongly associated with risk of obesity. As both sugars intake and obesity are associated with cancer risk at a number of sites, we would now like to apply this new biomarker to a nested case control study of breast and colorectal cancer, and, together with other biomarkers - both existing and currently under development - to specifically assess measurement error in dietary reports from individuals who are overweight. In our recent work, reports of intake of vitamin C, sugars and protein from individuals whose BMI <25 were significantly associated with biomarkers (p<0.001) whereas in those whose BMI exceeded 30 there was no relationship (p> 0.05). A similar relationship was seen with two other well established biomarkers, plasma vitamin C and urinary urea. Intake of vitamin C may have been over-reported and sugars under-reported. Urines from 600 cases of breast and colorectal cancer and four matched controls (n = 3000), together with those from 1000 randomly selected men and women across the range of BMI in the EPIC Norfolk cohort will be analysed for urinary sugars, urea, sodium and potassium. Odds ratios for risk of cancer and relationships with these and other biomarkers across sex specific quintiles of BMI will be investigated. These data and associated factors will be used to assess (i) risk of increased sugars intake in colorectal and breast cancer and (ii) measurement error and ways of correcting for it in estimations of risk from diet in cancer prevention.

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