Impact of sleep on the development of reproductive system cancers
This INSPIRE project will use data from the UK Biobank and genome-wide association studies to examine the relationship between sleep habits, sleep medications, and the risk of prostate and endometrial cancers.
Topic:Combination of cancers
Institution:University of Ioannina
INSPIRE grant title: Investigating the impact of sleep on the development of reproductive system cancers
I am incredibly grateful to World Cancer Research Fund for funding my research proposal. This grant enables us to shed light on the potential effects of sleep and sleep medications on prostate and endometrial cancers.
The findings may lead to recommendations for optimising sleep habits, new chemopreventive or therapeutic agents, greater awareness of the risk of sleep drugs associated with prostate and endometrial cancers, establish the foundation for future research to unravel the underlying mechanisms that link sleep with prostate and endometrial cancers risk. – Dr Christos Chalitsios
Sleep is crucial for maintaining normal human physiology, including regulating growth hormones, physical repair, and immune and metabolic function. Insufficient sleep has been associated with various negative health outcomes, including breast and colorectal cancers.
Despite the importance of sleep as a contributor to health, the evidence on its role in prostate and endometrial cancers is inconclusive. Many studies have focused on the potentially harmful effects of night shift work, exposure to light at night and people with sleep disorders. However, sleep health is much more complex, and other sleep behaviours have been suggested to link with cancer risk.
Additionally, people with sleep disorders are likely to receive sleep-related medication, and the impact of this is not well understood.
The researchers will use data from the UK Biobank and genome-wide association studies to examine the relationship between diverse sleep traits, sleep medications, and the risk of prostate and endometrial cancers. They will also investigate whether metabolomic signals play a role in these associations. Traditional and genetic epidemiological approaches will be used to run these analyses.
Sleep medication and traits, including duration, chronotype, snoring, and insomnia, increase risk of prostate and endometrial cancers.
Sleep disturbances affect cancer initiation through novel metabolomic pathways that have yet to be explored.
Explore whether sleep traits and medications are associated with developing prostate and endometrial cancers.
Identify whether metabolic signals play a role in the association between sleep, and prostate and endometrial cancers.
Identify potential causal relations between sleep traits and prostate and endometrial cancers using Mendelian randomisation analyses and Mendelian randomisation mediation analyses for any metabolite that gives some evidence of mediation from objective 2.
The findings, if as hypothesised, can influence cancer prevention policies and public health messages to reduce the burden of prostate and endometrial cancers. Since sleep habits are possible to change, understanding its impact will provide the evidence for cancer prevention efforts to influence change.