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Approved Research

Genetic Protection Against Cancer Informed by Mendelian Conditions

Principal Investigator: Dr Louise Bicknell
Approved Research ID: 89420
Approval date: September 20th 2022

Lay summary

It is well established that a person's genetics could influence their risk of developing cancer, but we know far less about whether there are genetic factors that could decrease cancer risk. This is important to study, so that people can receive more accurate guidance about the risk of developing cancer based on their own genetics.

Often, cancer develops when a person's cells start to grow and divide quickly and uncontrollably. Many genes are known to help control this process. Some genetic changes that disrupt this control can cause genetic conditions where a person grows taller than expected, and these conditions also have an increased risk of developing cancer. Conversely, there are other genetic conditions where disruption of this control causes people to grow less than expected (called 'growth-restricting genes') - and we believe that these types of genes may contain genetic changes that act to decrease the risk of cancer development.

This project will use population data from the UK Biobank to explore whether there is any association between genetic changes in growth-restricting genesĀ  and the risk of developing cancer. This research will be undertaken as part of a Masters project and will take 1-2 years. The outcome of this project will increase our understanding of cancer and may influence future cancer research. The knowledge we gain from this research may help to improve the prediction of cancer and identify potential targets for cancer drug development.