Cancer prevention through weight control: where are we in 2020?

Annie S Anderson* (Corresponding Author), Andrew Renehan, John M Saxton, Joshua Bell, Janet E Cade, Amanda Lee, Angela King, Elio Riboli, Falko F Sniehotta, Shaun Treweek, Richard Martin , UK NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Growing data from epidemiological studies highlight the association between excess body fat and cancer incidence, but good indicative evidence demonstrates that intentional weight loss, as well as increasing physical activity, offers much promise as a cost-effective approach for reducing the cancer burden. However, clear gaps remain in our understanding of how changes in body fat or levels of physical activity are mechanistically linked to cancer, and the magnitude of their impact on cancer risk. It is important to investigate the causal link between programmes that successfully achieve short-term modest weight loss followed by weight-loss maintenance and cancer incidence. The longer-term impact of weight loss and duration of overweight and obesity on risk reduction also need to be fully considered in trial design. These gaps in knowledge need to be urgently addressed to expedite the development and implementation of future cancer-control strategies. Comprehensive approaches to trial design, Mendelian randomisation studies and data-linkage opportunities offer real possibilities to tackle current research gaps. In this paper, we set out the case for why non-pharmacological weight-management trials are urgently needed to support cancer-risk reduction and help control the growing global burden of cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1056
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume124
Issue number6
Early online date25 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
The authors thank to Ms Jill Hampton and Mrs Mary Burke for the paper coordination and preparation and Ms Fiona Davies for organisation of meetings and discussion sessions.
Funding information:
This work was supported by the NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. R.M.M. is supported by a Cancer Research UK programme grant (C18281/A19169) and by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Bristol Biomedical Research Centre. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Bristol Biomedical Research Centre is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and is a partnership between University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust and the University of Bristol. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. He is also part of the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12013/1, MC_UU_12013/2 and MC_UU_12013/3) and the University of Bristol. A.G.R. is supported by the Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (IS-BRC-1215-20007).

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