New grants, new research – thanks

January is an exciting time around the AICR offices. This is when our newly-funded investigators begin work on their projects, and it’s a reminder to us that scientific research provides the basis for all of AICR’s work. Our grant program is extremely competitive and only the most novel and promising projects make it through our rigorous peer-review 2015-research-collage-smallprocess. This year’s funded research grants cover a wide variety of topics but they all focus on how nutrition, physical activity, or obesity is related to cancer, and they are all aimed at preventing cancer and improving survival.

Some of our new investigators work in labs with cell cultures or with animal models, while others work in clinics or on large population studies. You can read about their research in Cancer Research Update.

To learn more about eligibility and criteria for AICR grants, see our Grant Application Package. And if you are a researcher with a great idea for a project, keep an eye out for AICR’s call for applications in the fall. Questions? Contact us at research@aicr.org.

Thank you to AICR’s generous donors for continuing to support these innovative and important projects.

Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD, is AICR’s Vice President of Research.


Study: Whole Grains Affect Gut Bacteria, Insulin, and Cholesterol

AICR recommends choosing whole grains over refined or processed grains— in addition to being higher in nutrients and phytochemicals, whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains. Foods containing fiber protect against colorectal cancer and may keep you full longer, helping you manage your weight. Whole grains are also linked to a lower risbowl full of oats - healthy eating - food and drinkk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Scientists are not sure why whole grains and fiber are beneficial for health, but a new study in mice published in the Journal of Nutrition adds to the evidence that changes in the types of bacteria that live in the intestines—known as the gut microbiota—may be important.

The researchers fed one group of mice flour made from whole grain oats, while the other group of mice got refined flour lower in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows the passage of food through the digestive tract, which may help keep you feeling full longer. It is also linked to lower cholesterol and increased insulin sensitivity, important factors in the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Both diets had the same amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and insoluble fiber. Continue reading


Study: Coffee Lowers Risk of Deadly Skin Cancer

A new study published this week adds to the emerging evidence linking coffee to lower risk of some cancers, giving coffee lovers another excuse to drink up.Coffee. Coffee Espresso. Cup Of Coffee

This time, researchers found a lower risk of malignant melanoma in older adults with the highest coffee intake. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and the deadliest form of skin cancer, but exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) and sunburns are the only key risk factors within your control, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute included nearly 450,000 non-Hispanic white participants. Participants answered questions about their coffee intake and then were followed for an average of 10.5 years to see if they developed a non-invasive melanoma, known as melanoma in situ, or malignant melanoma.

Those with coffee intake of more than 4 cups per day had a 20% lower risk of malignant melanoma compared to non-coffee drinkers. High intake of regular coffee and total caffeine, but not decaffeinated coffee, were also associated with a lower risk of malignant melanoma. There was no link between coffee intake and melanoma in situ. Continue reading