CUP Project UpdatesOur Latest Findings

About the Continuous Update Project

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing analyses of the global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival. CUP findings are used to update our Cancer Prevention Recommendations, ensuring that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information on how to lower the risk of developing cancer.

As part of the CUP, scientific research from around the world is collated and systematically added to a database on an ongoing basis. An independent panel of world-renowned experts then evaluate and interpret the body of scientific evidence to make conclusions. 

So far, CUP reports have been published on the updated evidence for breast, colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, bladder, stomach and esophageal cancers; as well as for breast cancer survivors.

The CUP Database

The CUP database is being kept up to date with all relevant papers from randomized controlled trials and cohort studies published for 17 cancers and breast cancer survivors. The database now contains thousands of publications on these cancers, including publications from the 2007 expert report. 

CUP Project Updates

How the CUP Began

The CUP develops the work of our groundbreaking first and second expert reports – published in 1997 and 2007 respectively – which were the first ever comprehensive analyses of the research on diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer. Unlike these reports, however, the CUP is an ongoing review and captures new research from around the world as it is published.

The latest on the Continuous Update Project

  • Work is under way to develop a methodology for systematically reviewing human and animal mechanistic studies on the link between diet, nutrition, physical activity and the development and progression of different cancers.
  • After the Cancer Prevention Recommendations are reviewed in 2017, newly published studies will continue to be added to the CUP evidence database and reviewed to ensure the Recommendations are based on the latest evidence.
  • The findings from the CUP will help to identify priority areas for future cancer prevention research.

What the CUP Conclusions Mean

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and AICR has come up with criteria for grading evidence to support a judgement of a relationship with cancer. The criteria are derived from human studies and biological evidence.

  • Convincing: strong, consistent and unlikely to change in the future
  • Probable: compelling but not quite strong or consistent enough to be "convincing"
  • Limited Evidence – Suggestive: too limited for a grade of "probable", but a general consistency in the data
  • Limited Evidence – No Conclusion: too inconsistent or insufficient for a definitive grade
  • Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely: enough evidence to rule out a connection 

Read More: The People | CUP Papers | Recommendations