Causal relationship between psychosocial factors and cancer prognosis mediated by gene expressions
It was previously shown that psychosocial factors affect expressions of some genes, and expressions of some other genes affect the prognosis of cancer patients. However, it remains unclear whether psychosocial factors are independent risk factors to cancer prognosis. To understand the role of psychosocial factors in cancer prognosis, we propose to (i) investigate the prognostic factors of cancer patients, including sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle and environmental exposures, psychosocial factors and gene expressions; (ii) decipher the direct effects of psychosocial factors and their indirect effects through gene expressions on cancer prognosis by adjusting for potential confounders. The proposed study will contribute towards UK Biobank goals of improving public health in several ways. First, this work will provide new insight of the prognostic factors of cancer patients, which would have implications on multiple tumors. Second, our findings will contribute to informed interventions aimed at susceptible populations with psychosocial factors and will establish a risk prediction model for target population for cancer early detection. The proposed study will utilize the full cohort with available baseline characteristics, sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle and environmental exposures, psychosocial factors, genome-wide gene expression data and cancer outcomes.