AICR Award Highlights, New Research in Obesity and Cancer

How can bariatric surgery and a mom’s smartphone link to reduced cancer risk?

These studies were among the winners of the AICR research poster competition, announced yesterday at the annual Obesity Week conference. Obesity is associated with increased risk of a number of cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal. The winners, awarded support by AICR, included three early investigators and two student prizes.

In no particular order, here are highlights of this year’s winners for outstanding posters. Congratulations to all. Note: these poster findings are not yet published and have not yet gone through the peer-reviewed process.

Ǻsa Anveden, MD PhD University of Gothenburg, Sweden

AvendenBariatric surgery is one obesity-treatment option and previous research suggests decreased risk of cancer following surgery. This surgery may reduce the risk of cancer in obese women, suggests the finding of this study.

Anveden and her team followed over 4,000 obese people (70% women) for up to 26 years to look for cancer incidence. About half the participants had undergone bariatric surgery, and they were matched to a group of obese controls who received usual care. Continue reading

Misleading Journal Article Attacks US Dietary Guidelines Report, Earns Swift Rebuttal

Today the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an editorial that attacks the science behind the U.S. Dietary Guidelines report. It’s a surprising development for several reasons: the BMJ is a prestigious journal, yet the piece contains several basic factual errors, and it arrives just as meat and sugar industry lobbyists are seeking ways to derail the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which government officials are now in the Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 12.13.58 PMprocess of writing. The Guidelines have the potential to help prevent thousands of cancer and other chronic diseases.

The piece, written by a journalist who last year published a book called The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in the American Diet, claims the report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) “does not take into account all the relevant scientific evidence” and is marked by an “overall lack of sound and proper methods.” It goes on to list several specific studies that weren’t included, and to question the inclusion of observational evidence that does not meet what it considers “established” methods of analysis.

Within hours, the article’s misleading statements earned this swift and spirited rebuke on the website The Verge. That post addresses the BMJ article’s errors in great detail, and we at AICR encourage you to read it. Continue reading

Report on Lifestyle and Kidney Cancer Risk: Unraveling the Alcohol Link

The evidence is stronger than ever that being overweight or obese increases the risk for kidney cancer, according to a report we released today. It’s the key finding in the latest update from our ongoing systematic review of the global research, the Continuous Update Project (CUP).Wines_FD001551_7

Today’s report reaffirms the conclusion of our previous report, making kidney one of ten cancers now strongly associated with overweight and obesity. You can read the key findings here.

Among those findings, you’ll also find a new conclusion with alcohol. Here’s what we can say about alcohol and kidney cancer: it’s complicated.

Alcohol is known to be a potent carcinogen, and has been definitely linked in previous reports from AICR and WCRF International to greater risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, and breast. This is why AICR recommends that if people choose to drink at all, they limit their consumption to 1 drink/day for women, and 2 drinks/day for men.

But when our CUP panel examined recent evidence from 8 studies, they found that moderate amounts of alcohol (about two drinks per day) were associated with lower risk for kidney cancer. Continue reading