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Approved research

Cognitive and chronobiological markers of cancer survival

Principal Investigator: Ms Erin Kaseda
Approved Research ID: 53734
Approval date: December 6th 2019

Lay summary

As cancer treatment continues to improve, there will be an estimated 70 million cancer survivors worldwide by the year 2020. At the beginning of cancer treatment, cognition has been associated with cancer survival, such that higher cognition has been linked to better survival. Additionally, chronobiological markers have previously been implicated in health outcomes, such that chronic sleep and circadian rhythm disruption may be risk factors for developing cancer and a variety of neurocognitive disorders. However, there has been limited research on the connection between premorbid cognition, sleep and circadian rhythm robustness, and cancer survival. The primary objective of this investigation is to evaluate whether premorbid cognition and chronobiological disruption are predictive of survival among patients diagnosed with cancer. The specific aims of the proposed research are: (1) to investigate the relationship between premorbid cognition, sleep, and circadian rhythm and likelihood of cancer diagnosis; (2) to assess the degree to which cognition impacts survival after cancer diagnosis; and (3) to investigate sleep and circadian rhythm disruption as a predictor of survival and to examine whether this association between cognition and survival is explained by a mediator - circadian rhythm disruption. The present study was designed to utilize the approximately 500,000 data points in the UK Biobank. This project is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. Findings have excellent potential to help clinicians establish risk profiles for cancer patients, develop more effective treatments, better monitor ongoing treatment to help patients and families plan for likely outcomes, and better target treatment to patients based on cognitive, and sleep/circadian biomarkers.