Multicentric study on the genetic and metabolomic markers for prevention and prognosis of 5 common tumors

Acting before the cancer appears or is at its early stage, and still relatively easy to eradicate, would not only diminish the morbidity and the social impact, but also reduce health cost in demographically shifting western world. Prevention programs for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer have already proven as successful direction towards lowering the cancer burden. However, the screening is today done using only age to stratify the population. Here we propose to take a step further with personalized prevention. We want to develop the risk models of 5 common cancers, using the genomic, metabolomic and lifestyle data. This will make it possible to detect the population at high risk of cancer on which intensified screening should be performed to eliminate the cancer in its initial and harmless stage.

Dr. Moreno leads the consortium of 15 epidemiological research groups from 12 Spanish provinces. The consortium has biological samples, epidemiological and dietary data of 6008 cases of more common cancers (colorectal, breast, stomach, prostate and chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and 4098 population controls, originated in the MCC-Spain study (

The objective: With samples and data from more than 10,000 donors, the predictive models of cancer risk and prognosis will be developed and verified, using cutting edge bioinformatic methodology. 

  1. In the healthy population (secondary prevention): stratification of population based on the risk models that combine genetic, lifestyle and metabolomic factors for colorectal, breast, prostate, stomach cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
  2. In patients with breast, prostate and colorectal cancer (tertiary prevention): improving prognosis and reducing recurrence of cancer using prognostic models based on genetic, metabolic and epidemiological data.

Phases of the project: 

  • Genetic analysis of all the samples (SNPs – GWAS)
  • Metabolomics analysis (metabolites in blood that reflect the cell metabolism, external exposures that have been internalized in the body, nutrition, etc …)
  • Association analysis for each cancer type, with genome and (a) diet, (b) physical exercise and body mass index, (c) alcohol and tobacco, (d) environmental exposure, (e) occupational exposure, (d) medications , (f) infections, (g) metals, (h) hormones, (i) metaboloma
  • Causality analysis using Mendelian randomization
  • Building risk models for the 5 cancers
  • Building of prognostic models for the 3 cancers – CCR, breast, prostate
  • Economic evaluation of personalized screening (based on the risk models elaborated above)
  • Validation study with independent public databases

Project funded by the ” Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer” and CIBERESP subprogram Genrisk.