Our Global Network is dedicated to funding research and health education programmes into the links between food, nutrition, physical activity, body fatness and cancer risk.
Achievements and future plans
Achievements so far
Series of cancer reports 2010-2012
The evidence for all the cancers reviewed as part of the Second Expert Report has been combined into one central CUP evidence database. The database is currently being updated with evidence published since 2006.
The evidence database continues to be updated with research papers as they are published for cancers of the breast, prostate, colorectum, pancreas, endometrium, ovary, bladder, kidney, liver and gallbladder; and breast cancer survivors. Other types of cancer are being updated on a rolling programme with the aim to add at least three new cancers a year. The CUP database is expected to be up to date for all cancers by 2015.
Novel work on systematically reviewing mechanistic studies
On behalf of WCRF/AICR, a team at the University of Bristol is undertaking some work to further develop and test some methodology for conducting systematic reviews of animal, human and other mechanistic studies in relation to food, nutrition, physical activity, body fatness and the development and progression of different cancers.
When complete, the new methodology will be applied to all mechanistic reviews required for the CUP and will ensure cutting edge methods are used for all aspects of the project. Systematic reviews of both the epidemiological and mechanistic studies will form the comprehensive basis for the CUP Expert Panel to make judgements on the likely causality of observed links between relevant exposures and cancer, and will inform the Recommendations for Cancer Prevention to be published in 2017.
The impact of this work will extend beyond the CUP, as this new methodology could become the mainstream approach to reviewing mechanistic studies by researchers around the world and may inform the direction of future research in the area of diet, physical activity, body fatness and cancer.
As an extension of the CUP, some new work is under way to review the evidence for breast cancer survivors.
In the 2007 Second Expert Report, the Expert Panel concluded that the available evidence from clinical trials on nutrition and physical activity and cancer prognosis was limited, and did not support specific recommendations for cancer survivors. Subsequently, the Panel recommended that all cancer survivors, if able to do so and unless otherwise advised, should aim to follow the WCRF/AICR recommendations for diet, healthy weight and physical activity for cancer prevention.
The research in the area of cancer survivors is expanding and as part of the CUP, a special committee was convened to develop a protocol for reviewing research on cancer survivors. The research team at Imperial College London has undertaken a systematic literature review(SLR) of the evidence for breast cancer survivors, and this includes evidence from both randomised controlled trials and follow-up studies. The endpoints that have been considered in the review are total mortality, breast cancer mortality and second primary breast cancer. The protocol can be downloaded from our resource downloads section.
The breast cancer survivors SLR has been peer reviewed and the evidence will be discussed by the CUP Expert Panel in June 2013, who will make conclusions and recommendations.
Between 2015 and 2017 the WCRF global network’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention will be reviewed based on the emerging evidence by the CUP Expert Panel, and the recommendations will be formally updated in 2017. These will be promoted through the WCRF global network education and communications programmes. However, it is possible that one or more Recommendations may be revised earlier if the CUP Expert Panel agrees there is strong evidence for a change.
At the same time the CUP evidence database will be made available to the wider scientific community. This will mean that scientists all around the world will be able to use it for research.
After 2017 newly published studies will continue to be added to the CUP evidence database and the research will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure the Recommendations for Cancer Prevention are based on the latest evidence.
The ongoing findings of the CUP will also help to identify priority areas for future cancer prevention research.