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Cancer Research UK to fund research into cancer risk factors in the Million Women Study and China Kadoorie Biobank cohorts.

Data collected from large prospective cohorts provides an excellent resource to enable research into cancer risk assessment, prevention, early detection and disease management.

Together, the Million Women Study, the China Kadoorie Biobank and UK Biobank comprise over two million participants from diverse populations across the UK and China, collecting a range of information such as environmental exposures, genetic and imaging data.

Professors Gill Reeves, Zhengming Chen and David Hunter have successfully applied to Cancer Research UK for funds to bring together research using these cohorts. This new programme of research aims to investigate risk factors, such as weight, exercise and diet, and existing health conditions that may influence cancer development and detection.

Infection-associated cancers such as liver and stomach cancer are more prevalent in Chinese populations, and new measurements of infection history in a subset of the China Kadoorie Biobank will allow further study of the link between infection and cancer. The underlying mechanisms and potential gene-environment interactions for any causal associations discovered will also be investigated using available biomarker and genetic data.

In the Million Women Study, the predictive value for breast cancer of several features from mammographic images will be assessed.

This research aims to advance the accuracy of risk assessment to enhance strategies for cancer prevention and early detection through targeted screening.