Through the grant funding, World Cancer Research Fund provides Wageningen University, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Erasmus University with the chance to study whether coffee drinking supports prognosis and overall health of individuals with large bowel cancer.
We will also investigate whether coffee and its metabolites may be beneficial by influencing the microbiota in the colon and/or the amount of fat surrounding the liver. – Prof Dr Ellen Kampman
Coffee, coffee metabolites, hepatic fat accumulation and colorectal cancer outcomes
Research has shown that regularly drinking coffee may improve survival of large bowel cancer as well as favourably affecting treatment, quality of life and factors relating to the heart and blood vessels for these patients, although research in this field is limited.
One explanation for this is that coffee can help prevent the build-up of fat in the liver, which in turn helps improve responses to therapy and survival. It is not yet known which compounds in coffee are having this effect or what happens when the body consumes and processes them.
As coffee is a promising, easily accessible and well-accepted candidate that may support prognosis and overall health of individuals with large bowel cancer, further research in this area is needed.
Aims and objectives
The aim of the proposed project is to improve our understanding of how coffee consumption influences large bowel cancer survival. The project will specifically focus on the biological processes and aim to develop a recommendation on coffee consumption for people with large bowel cancer.
How it will be done
This project will be conducted within the COLON study, which is a study of 2,300 individuals with large bowel cancer who are followed before, during and after therapy. Participants of the COLON study provided detailed information on dietary habits, including information on frequency and amount of coffee consumed, and other lifestyle factors. Some participants provided hospital scans and blood samples throughout the study.
Blood samples will be used to measure coffee-related compounds and their metabolites that are subsequently formed in the body. The scans will determine the amount of fat in the liver.
Analysis of this data will allow in-depth investigation of all aspects related to coffee consumption in the context of health of large bowel cancer survivors.
This project will provide robust evidence on the potential favourable role of coffee and coffee-related compounds for individuals with large bowel cancer. The results may inform further intervention studies as well as evidence-based guidelines to improve health outcomes and quality of life in survivors of large bowel cancer.