Colorectal cancer survival in Palestine: a feasibility study on lifestyle factors
This small study will determine if we can undertake a large long-term follow-up study to explore the relationship between lifestyle and survival among large bowel cancer patients.
Rania Abu Seir
Grant title: The impact of lifestyle factors on survival among Palestinian colorectal cancer patients: a feasibility study
Large bowel cancer is among the most common types of cancer worldwide. Although large bowel cancer is most common in developed countries (western countries), in the last decade the burden of large bowel cancer has been shifting towards developing countries.
Therefore, it is important to understand the factors affecting the survival of patients with large bowel cancer to provide better care. However, there is a scarcity of knowledge in this area in Arab countries in general and Palestine specifically, especially on the impact of diet and lifestyle on the survival of patients with large bowel cancer.
Aims and objectives
Because of the limitations of implementing follow-up studies in developing countries, this study will assess if we can launch a large follow-up study to investigate the relationship between lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical activity, obesity, alcohol consumption and tobacco use, and survival among patients newly diagnosed with large bowel cancer.
This will be assessed by determining the proportion of patients that will be approached and those who will participate in the study, the completion of data collected for those patients, the proportion of the tumor samples that can be retrieved, and the proportion of the patients that remain in the study at the end of the study period.
How it will be done
We will set up a small-scale follow-up study among 100 patients newly diagnosed with large bowel cancer at Beit-Jala Governmental Hospital, which has a large oncology department where Palestinian cancer patients are diagnosed, treated and followed up.
At the time of diagnosis, patients will be asked to complete questionnaires that are designed to capture data about demographic characteristics, medical history, dietary habits, physical activity, body measurements, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, family history and quality of life.
We will also collect blood samples from the patients and obtain access to retrieve tumor samples and medical files at the time of diagnosis.
After 6 months and 1 year, patients will be contacted to provide new blood samples and to fill out follow-up questionnaires that are similar to the first ones. At the end of the proposed study, we will determine if we were able to recruit the specified number of patients within the specified period, collect their data and biological samples, and follow them up over 1 year.
This small study will determine if we can undertake a large long-term follow-up study to explore the relationship between lifestyle and survival among large bowel cancer patients. As far as we know, this will be the first follow-up study among cancer patients in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries. In the long term, the findings of this study could improve patient care and the lives of patients with large bowel cancer in Palestine.