Bowel cancer funded research findings

Below is a short summary of the results of our bowel cancer research from recent years.

For more details on these and all World Cancer Research Fund network funded research, please visit WCRF International’s website.

In addition to the following research and as part of the Continuous Update Project - our ongoing programme to analyse global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival – we have analysed worldwide research to produce our recent CUP report on bowel cancer.

This pilot study by Dr Alice Simon, from University College London determined whether colorectal cancer survivors would comply with a distance-based behaviour change intervention aimed at increasing their levels of physical activity and improving their diet. They showed that colorectal cancer survivors are receptive to this type of intervention and are able to increase their physical activity levels and change their diets towards a more protective pattern. This study will inform and support future interventions and trials.

A study to explore whether higher levels of sugars found in urine correlate with obesity and the risk of developing breast and colorectal cancer, led by Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, of Cambridge University. Researchers didn’t find such a link.

A study of 100,000 40-65 year old women into the relationship between energy intake, anthropometry measures and physical activity, and colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps (a precursor of colorectal cancer) by Dr Francoise Clavel-Chapelon of Institut Gustave Roussy. A link was found between higher weight, waist and hip circumference and a higher risk of developing colorectal adenomas but this association was not seen in women with colorectal cancer. There were no links found with physical activity, energy intake, height and colorectal adenoma and cancer risk.

A study looking for a biological mechanism that might explain the link between obesity and colorectal cancer, led by Dr Tselepis, of Birmingham University. Findings were too inconclusive to shed much light on the mechanisms behind obesity and colorectal cancer.

A project to develop a simple and reliable urine biomarker to test a person’s likelihood of developing bowel cancer led by Dr Maria Velasco-Garcia from The Open University. It aimed to test the level of DNA damage relating to red meat consumption that could then be applied to other diets. The biomarker was found not sensitive enough and further development was halted.