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Approved Research

Comprehensive investigation of lipidomics and its genetic determinants in cancer risk and prognosis by evidence triangulation

Principal Investigator: Dr Rayjean Hung
Approved Research ID: 87201
Approval date: August 25th 2022

Lay summary

The proposed study aims to understand the role of blood lipids in cancer development and progression. Blood lipids are fat-related molecules that can be measured in blood, such as cholesterol. They have long been associated with cancers, but results from previous studies have been inconsistent. With emerging technologies, lipidomics is a new field that can provide a complete analysis of lipids in the body. Therefore, we propose to assess the associations between a wide range of blood lipids and cancer outcomes using multiple approaches to strengthen the findings.

The project will take three steps. First, we will investigate the associations between lipids and cancer occurrence and progression. Next, we will identify genetic factors that are strongly associated with lipids in the UK Biobank. These genetic factors will then be used to evaluate the causal relationship between lipids and cancers in independent datasets. Third, we will develop a risk prediction model including the predictors related to lipids identified previously.

The proposed project will take about 2 years to complete. We anticipate 3-4 months to clean the data and set up the study cohort, 10-12 months to conduct the analyses, and 5-6 months to write the manuscripts and present at conferences.

This research project will have several public health impacts: 1) it will improve the understanding of blood lipids in cancers; 2) it will generate a risk prediction model that can be jointly used with clinical evaluations to better predict future cancer events; 3) the findings of the study can be used to design possible intervention strategies to reduce cancer risk and improve prognosis.