2 UH cancer epidemiology study was identified nationally

Loïc Le Marchand and Unhee Lim

Two epidemiological studies conducted by University researchers Hawaii The Cancer Center was selected as a research lead on the National Cancer Institute’s Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP). The publications were among 36 selected studies funded by EGRP in 2020. Both studies used data from the UH Multiethnic Cohort Cancer Center (MEC) A large, epidemiological study that follows Hawaii and Los Angeles residents for the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.

This research is an example of UH Mānoa’s Aim for Research Excellence: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Initiative (PDF), one of four objectives identified in the Strategic Plan 2015-25 (PDF), updated in December 2020.

Danger of cancer, intra-abdominal fat

In one publication led by Loïc Le Marchand, researchers showed that there was fat inside the abdomen, also known as visceral adipose tissue (VAT), could be predicted by the use of common biochemical markers in blood, and that what was expected VAT it was associated with cancer risk. They found that women with high VAT score in the MEC There was a study at increased risk for developing breast cancer, even at relative levels of body weight or total body fat.

VAT it is known to have more harmful metabolic effects than the fat found under the skin. Inspectors had reported earlier VAT amounts vary greatly depending on race / ethnicity at specific body weights, which may explain the differences associated with obesity-related cancer. “It simply came to our notice then VAT measurement requires expensive imaging tests, evaluation of VAT based on easily measurable biomarkers, such as those found in blood, important for future studies of obesity-related cancer and other diseases, ”said Le Marchand.

Gut bacteria, colorectal cancer

Second edition, led by Unhee Lim, he studied the gut bacteria at MEC Monitor participants for their blood signal levels, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is known to increase in people who eat more animal products or are at higher risk for colorectal cancer. The researchers found that blood TMAO it was associated with an abundance of 13 different types of gut bacteria. These included high levels of fusobacterium, an established microbial risk factor for colorectal cancer. In addition, TMAO it was associated with higher insulin resistance, which often leads to diabetes.

TMAO in humans completely contaminated with gut bacteria that can turn animal food parts into TMAO. The researchers reported earlier that red meat and processed meats are the main food source for the TMAO precursor, choline, in a normal diet.

“Because red and processed meat consumption is high in some ethnic groups with higher incidence rates of colorectal cancer, our study provides an insight into microbial mechanisms for colorectal cancer and supports inter- diet interventions to reduce cancer risk and improve health differences, ”said Lim.

Each year, the EGRP Research Highlights presents a selection of grant-aided research publications in the EGRP donation package. The EGRP funding research in human populations to determine the signs of cancer incidence and outcomes. The program is the largest funder of cancer epidemiology grants nationally and worldwide, awarding more than 240 grants and collaboration agreements each year.