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Approved Research

Identify the allostatic load as a predictor of breast cancer prevalence, incidence, and progression in the UK Biobank database.

Principal Investigator: Dr Yufan Guan
Approved Research ID: 94449
Approval date: April 4th 2023

Lay summary

Stress is the most common part of life, and it is inevitable. Chronic stress has been thought to affect cancer incidence and progression for decades. Through a series of mechanisms, chronic stress active certain hormones can promote cancer development. Moreover, chronic stress could induce the activation of inflammation and suppression of immunity, which also plays an essential role in cancer development. Recently, the allostatic load score, a novel complex index involving, has been used to assess chronic stress levels. Women with a higher allostatic load score is associated with an increased risk of overall cancer, according to a new study. However, systematic analysis of the association between allostatic load and breast cancer is still scarce. Therefore, in this study, we are using the database from UK Biobank (1) to investigate whether the allostatic load score in the baseline is associated with the prevalence and incidence of breast cancer; (2) to explore whether the allostatic load score in the baseline is associated with the breast cancer patient's survival rate; (3) to assess whether the above association differed by demographic, clinical features, and tumor grade. The duration of this project is approximately 36 months. This project's results are the first to examine the relationship between allostatic load and epidemiology measurements of breast cancer, especially in the different tumor grades, in a large database cohort. Moreover, this study will explore the ability of the allostatic load score as a new biomarker tool to predict overall survival and prognosis.