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Approved Research

Effects of physical activity, environmental exposure, and multilevel biomarkers including genetic predisposition and inflammatory markers on the cancer occurrence and all-cause / cancer mortalities

Principal Investigator: Professor Guangwen Cao
Approved Research ID: 101971
Approval date: March 29th 2023

Lay summary

WHO declared that more than a quarter of global adults lacked of physical activity, leading to more than 1ยท4 billion adults at risk of developing or exacerbating diseases linked to the inactivity. It is well-known that regular exercise, healthy diet, suitable psychological condition plays an active role in reducing the risk of all-causes mortality. However, the effects of these behavioral conditions and their interactions with other environmental exposure and genetic predispositions on cancer development remain to be elucidated, especially in older populations. We hypothesize that the interaction of risk environmental factor exposure and genetic predisposition, together with ageing, metabolic syndrome, and physical inactivity, contribute to non-resolving inflammation. inflammatory factors released by non-resolving inflammation increase the mutation-driving forces and decrease the mutation-correcting forces, thus facilitating cancer development and evolution. Therefore, we will use the data harvested from wearable monitoring devices, environmental exposure, information from the wearer's blood biochemistry and genetic information to explore their interactive roles on the development of cancer and cancer mortality, in which the effect of physical activity on non-resolved inflammation will be highlighted.

The main goal of this study is to elucidate the effects of physical activity, demographic characteristics, environmental exposure, and multilevel biomarkers, including genetic predisposition and inflammatory/immunologic markers on the incidence, morbidity, and mortality in the cohort populations of the UK Biobank.

The secondary purpose of our study is to use machine learning methods for multi-omics analysis to study changes in genetic markers and blood biomarkers associated with cancer. Furthermore, these biomarkers can be applied to identify populations at immediate risk or higher risk sometimes in the life, thus favoring the development of prophylactic and therapeutic options to decrease the all-cause and cancer-specific mortalities.

The outcomes of this study will be applied to study further mechanisms of cancer of different histotypes. This study may promote a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental mechanism by which different cancers develop and evolve. Some suitable prophylactic and therapeutic options will be developed to provide critical interventions to reduce the risks of cancer development and cancer death, provide the support of big data for building the standards of physical excise in the middle-aged and elderly populations, and provide evidence-supporting public health interventions for the future global aging.

The estimated duration of this project is 36 months, but due to the complex nature of the analysis, it may need to be extended for a longer period.