Research Preview: Life After Childhood Cancer and The Goldilocks Effect

It’s our favorite time of year. All of us at AICR are eagerly gearing up for our annual research conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer here in Washington, DC, from October 29-31.

We spend the months in the run-up to the research conference looking forward to welcoming hundreds of investigators, clinicians, nurses, registered dietitians, policy makers and members of the media wGenetically Modified foodho are passionately interested in how nutrition, physical activity and obesity intersect with cancer risk.

Selecting which subjects will make for engaging and enlightening conference sessions is a job our Conference Program Committee takes seriously, and for good reason: the AICR conference’s focus on the nutrition and cancer connection is unique and specific, and it continues to sets us apart.

Our Program Committee is keenly aware that making a topic the subject of an AICR conference session does far more than simply gather scientists in a room to discuss the latest findings. It also serves to raise the visibility of a research topic before a global audience of scientists, health professionals, shapers of health policy, and the press. In a very real sense it can help drive the research agenda for the field. Continue reading


Report: Half of Cancer Deaths Can Be Prevented

More than half of the estimated cancer deaths projected to occur in the United States this year are related to preventable causes, states a major report on cancer research released yesterday by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

Source: AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014.

Source: AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014.

AACR’s fourth Cancer Progress Report focuses on diagnosis and treatment, but a significant part of the report highlights the research in prevention, using World Cancer Research Fund and AICR findings, along with other data.

Here at AICR, we focus on how diet, foods, weight and activity link to cancer risk. With changes to those lifestyle factors, AICR estimates that approximately one of every three cancer cases are preventable.

Using data that includes vaccines, sun exposure, smoking and other facts, the AACR report says that more than 50 percent of the 585,720 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States in 2014 will be related to preventable causes.

Knowing that so many thousands of cancers are preventable is far beyond what research knew only a few decades ago. The report also has a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much, unless you do what’s right.”

For strategies and more information on how lifestyle factors relate to each cancer site, visit our new site on prevention.


Overloaded on Nutrition Research? How to Find Clarity.

“Why didn’t they teach any of this in med school?” So began the question and answer session following my presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). My topic: “Information Overload! Helping Patients Distinguish Evidence-Based vs. Anecdotal Nutrition Strategies.”iStock_000005236823_Small

If you sometimes have a sense of information overload about what the research is saying when it comes to cancer prevention, heart disease and other areas of your health, you’re not alone.

Headlines regularly contradict each other about “must-include super foods”, rules about what to avoid, and suggestions that long-held nutrition mantras don’t make any difference after all. As it turns out, the health professionals at AACVPR made it clear that it’s not only their patients who are feeling information overload; they are, too.

In my presentation, we looked at common areas of confusion, going beyond the headlines to put studies within context of overall research.

•    Some observational population studies don’t show a difference in heart disease risk with higher saturated fat. That highlights the importance of looking at overall eating Continue reading