Early life, adulthood, and genomic risk factors for early-onset cancers
Principal Investigator: Dr Yin Cao
Approved Research ID: 55288
Approval date: November 29th 2019
The rising burden of cancers among younger adults is an emerging research priority. For instance, A dramatic increase of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been documented for adults aged 20-49 in Europe and US in recent decades. The global decline in lung cancer mortality was not as evident among younger women who are never smokers. Brain cancer among the young is also on the rise. With notable molecular differences compared with older cases, this project aims to identify emerging risk factors associated with immunity/inflammation across lifespan and risk of early-onset cancers. We will then evaluate their roles in survival and quality of life. The proposed research will not only shed light on the etiology of cancers diagnosed at younger ages, but will be important for cancer prevention as well therapeutics. Aim 1. To examine early-life factors (e.g. maternal smoking, breast fed, birth weight, cesarean delivery, early life antibiotic exposure) and risk of early-onset cancers and whether these associations differ for late-onset cancers Aim 2. To examine the associations between emerging adulthood risk factors (e.g. antibiotics, chronotype/circadian rhythm, stress, joint associations of sedentary and physical activity) and risk of early-onset cancers and whether these associations differ for late-onset cancers. Aim 3.To examine the associations between the following genomic markers and subsequent risk of early-onset cancers and whether these associations differ for late-onset cancers 3a. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and KIR germline mutations and pathways 3b. Presence of clonal hematopoiesis Aim 4. To examine how these lifestyle factors and/or genetic factors affect overall, cancer-specific survival and quality of life, for early-onset cancers. Our project directly addresses the aim of UK Biobank for tumor detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. We will make use of the wealth of UK Biobank whole cohort data to provide important new insights into the cancer research.