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The influence of diet and genetic polymorphisms on susceptibility to colorectal adenomas
Project Code: T01022
Colorectal (large bowel) cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK. In previous FSA funded studies an association between particular dietary choices, specifically high red meat consumption, and susceptibility to colorectal tumours was suggested.
Colorectal adenomas are benign polyps, some of which may subsequently develop into colorectal tumours. Individual susceptibility to malignant colorectal tumours is thought to be determined, at least in part, by inheritance of specific variants of a range of polymorphic drug metabolising enzymes, responsible for the metabolic activation and detoxification of carcinogenic substances present in the diet and environment. Despite advances in the understanding of the molecular genetics of colorectal tumours, survival rates from colorectal cancer have not improved significantly in the last decade so it is important to seek ways of identifying at risk individuals at an early, often asymptomatic stage to increase survival. To this end, the UK Government commissioned a pilot faecal occult blood (FOB) screening programme to detect early adenomas.
This work followed on from the previous FSA funded multi-centre collaborative studies (T01003/4/5), which investigated whether individual differences in the ability to metabolise dietary heterocyclic amine carcinogens, present in red meat, contributes to colorectal cancer susceptibility. This project built on those studies and the techniques developed, utilising two of the teams involved in the previous study. It considered the role of diet and genetic polymorphisms on susceptibility to the development of colorectal adenomas and it aimed to identify individuals susceptible to colorectal disease, who may benefit from early dietary and lifestyle education or intervention before the development of malignant tumours.
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