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Image: Mattias Pettersson

Molecular epidemiology studies toward precision prevention of colorectal cancer

Research project This project leverages prospectively collected data and blood samples and tumor tissue samples from population-based cohorts, as well as genetic data from a large international consortium, for studies of colorectal cancer. The overall aim is to gain new knowledge of etiology and risk prediction with long-term translational potential for improving primary prevention of colorectal cancer.

We will conduct agnostic and targeted analyses of biomarkers in pre-diagnostic blood samples, including inflammatory proteins and leucocyte gene expression, in relation to the risk of colorectal cancer and subtypes including tumor immune-cell profile.

Head of project

Bethany van Guelpen
Associate professor, consultant (attending) physician

Project overview

Project period:

2022-01-01 2024-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Radiation Sciences, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine

Research area


External funding

Swedish Cancer Society

Project description

Mediation analyses will help elucidate the relative contribution of biomarkers and pathways in associations between lifestyle factors and colorectal carcinogenesis, and Mendelian randomizations analyses in a large international consortium will explore causality of associations.

Biomarkers will also be evaluated in terms of their contribution to risk-prediction modelling beyond major established risk factors.

The etiological knowledge gains in the project will, hopefully, have relevance for personalizing lifestyle recommendations and future pharmacopreventive strategies, to mitigate detrimental physiological effects of poor lifestyle behaviors. Improvement to risk prediction could help motivate lifestyle change, compliance to pharmacoprevention and participation in screening, as well as guide personalized starting age and frequency of screening.

External funding

Latest update: 2021-11-29