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Title: Genetic epidemiology of Prostate Cancer : a genetic approach to identifying casual modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer
Author: Chen, Lina
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Prostate cancer is now the second most common cancer among men in many developed countries. A Western diet which is high in dairy products and low in vegetables is thought to increase risk of the disease. However, despite hundreds of observational epidemiological studies, the evidence for a causal relationship between many nutrients and prostate cancer risk remains inconclusive. Mendelian Randomization is a method which uses genetic variants that are robustly associated with modifiable exposures (i.e. the association is demonstrated and replicated in several independent datasets) to determine whether these exposures are truly causally related to disease outcomes. The aim of this project was to investigate the causal effect of several dietary factors (specifically calcium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D, milk/dairy consumption and cruciferous vegetable intake) and body mass index (BMI), on prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness at diagnosis, via Mendelian Randomization approach. Participants in this project were drawn from the ProtecT (The Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment) study and included 1566 screen-detected prostate cancer cases, 1824 age and general practice matched controls with unrestricted prostate specific antigen (PSA) values and 1183 low-PSA controls (PSA :5 0.5 ng/ml). Mendelian Randomization analyses provided limited evidence that high calcium concentrations in blood increased prostate cancer risk, whilst high vitamin D levels were protective against prostate cancer. In addition, BMI showed a weak inverse association with low grade prostate cancer. However, there was uncertainty in these results and others presented in the thesis due to lack of power. These findings suggest that nutrients and BMI could influence prostate cancer risk, but the results require independent replication, preferably in larger populations with more prostate cancer cases and using multiple genetic variants as instruments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available