News Release

British Journal of Cancer press notice

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Cancer Research UK

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Paper: Type 2 diabetes and risk of colorectal cancer in two large U.S. prospective cohorts

Corresponding author: Dr. Xuehong Zhang, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Telephone: +01-617-519-3550


Author summary: Individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, it remains unclear whether the association between T2D and CRC risk differs by diabetes duration of T2D or gender. We identified 3,000 CRC cases after following up 87,523 women from the Nurses' Health Study and 47,240 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for up to 32 years. Among men, T2D was associated with increased risk of CRC compared to those without T2D (HR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.12-1.81). This positive association persisted in sensitivity analyses by excluding CRC identified within 1 year of diabetes diagnosis and patients with T2D who used hypoglycemic medication. Among women, T2D was positively but not statistically significantly associated with CRC (HR: 1.17; 95% CI: 0.98-1.39). Our findings support that T2D was associated with a moderately higher risk of developing CRC in men; a weaker, nonsignificant positive association was observed in women.

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DOI: s41416-018-0314-4

Paper: Metabolite- and lipoprotein responses and prediction of weight gain during breast cancer treatment

Corresponding author: Guro F. Giskeødegård, PhD

Telephone: +47 905 50 347


Author summary: Treatment for breast cancer, particularly chemotherapy, is associated with potentially harmful metabolic side effects, such as weight gain and negative changes in blood cholesterol. The causes of these side effects are not well known. This is an area of growing interest, particularly because of increasing numbers of breast cancer survivors. To investigate the mechanisms behind treatment-related metabolic side effects, we measured blood serum metabolite and cholesterol changes during treatment in both recipients and non-recipients of chemotherapy. We also looked for a signature metabolite profile that predicted weight gain during treatment.

We found that breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy showed changes in metabolites and cholesterol which are associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. This includes changes previously linked to immune function, cognitive symptoms, and increased risk of heart disease. Interestingly, we also found indications that patients who gained weight during treatment had specific lipid metabolism patterns before treatment.

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DOI: s41416-018-0211-x

Paper: Statins attenuate outgrowth of breast cancer metastases

Corresponding author: Alan Wells, MD DMSc

Telephone: +1-412-647-7813


Author summary: There has been confusing data concerning the effects of statins on breast cancer. Statins do not appear to decrease the incidence of breast cancer, but limit the mortality of these cancers. Here, we find a proposed mechanism for this dichotomy in mouse models of spontaneous metastasis of breast cancer. We show that statins have no effect on the primary breast cancers, but limit the outgrowth of the metastases, limiting these to small, clinically-silent micro-metastases. Along with earlier mechanistic work, this provides a rationale for the epidemiologic findings, and may indicate a new approach for secondary prevention in breast cancer.

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DOI: s41416-018-0267-7


The British Journal of Cancer is editorially independent of Cancer Research UK. The BJC is one of the most-cited general cancer journals, publishing significant advances in translational and clinical cancer research. It also publishes high-quality reviews and thought-provoking comment on all aspects of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The BJC is owned by Cancer Research UK and published by Springer Nature.

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