Investigating the role of lifestyle in neuroendocrine tumours
Neuroendocrine tumors are rare tumors that come from hormone-producing cells in the body. This study aims to investigate the relationship between lifestyle and the development of these tumours.
Institution:University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU)
Rachel van Leeuwaarde
Grant title: Investigating the role of lifestyle in neuroendocrine tumour development within a large, international consortium
We are excited to investigate the role of lifestyle in neuroendocrine tumour development in the largest cohort up to date. In this project the UMC Utrecht will join forces with Harvard TH Chan school of Public Health and Imperial College London to unravel association between lifestyle and neuroendocrine tumours. – Dr Rachel van Leeuwaarde
Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are rare tumours that come from hormone-producing cells in the body. As with other kinds of rare tumours, researching these tumours is a complex process. As such, we do not know what increases the risk for these tumours.
Over the past years, it has been established that lifestyle in general plays an important role in cancer, with up to half of all cancers thought to be related to lifestyle. For example, we know that smoking causes lung cancer, but we also know that physical activity can protect us from getting some cancers.
Our knowledge on lifestyle and cancer risk has grown, but we do not yet understand the relationship between lifestyle and all cancers, in particular rare cancers, such as NETs. We assume that lifestyle plays a role in the development of NETs, but we do not know to what extent.
Aims and objectives
This study aims to investigate the relationship between lifestyle and the development of NETs.
How it will be done
We will investigate 9 large databases comprising data on 1,465,075 healthy people, of whom 600 have developed NETs during follow-up. In these databases, information on smoking, alcohol use, exercise, obesity and diet were assessed by questionnaires. After completing the questionnaires, participants were followed for several years to determine which participants developed cancer. By analysing the data, we can see whether lifestyle is related to developing NETs.
Through this research, we hope to gain knowledge of the role lifestyle plays in this type of cancer and contribute to preventive measures to reduce the risk of cancer.
The Dutch national NET patient advocacy group expressed great interest in this project and will support us with dissemination of the results. This group of patients and caregivers have stressed the need for this study and fully support the proposal. They are involved in setting the direction for the study and will be regularly updated on the outcomes.