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November 7, 2013 | 2 minute read

The Continuous Update Project: Ongoing Findings on Cancer Prevention

CUP Reports on Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer Survivorship, Coming in 2014

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BETHESDA, MD – The world’s largest ongoing systematic review of scientific evidence on food, nutrition, physical activity, weight and cancer has released major reports on preventing four cancers and is developing a comprehensive review analyzing biological mechanisms.

The AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project (CUP) has already produced major reports on preventing cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas and endometrium. In early 2014, AICR/WCRF will release reports on preventing ovarian cancer and a systematic review of the evidence on breast cancer survivorship. At the annual American Institute for Cancer Research Conference, CUP expert panel members presented insights about the challenges of reviewing mechanistic studies of the cancer process and how it is influenced by food, physical activity and weight. “This is unprecedented,” said AICR Director of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD. “Our systematic review of mechanisms is the first undertaking of its kind and will help us gain a deeper understanding of cancer prevention and progression.

It’s important to have the same type of rigorous process for reviewing mechanisms that we have for our continuous updates of the cancer sites – and breast cancer survivors – so that we can examine the entire body of research on preventing and surviving cancer.”

To the Editors:

For previous CUP reports, visit: https://www.aicr.org/research/continuous-update-project.html

In each report, the CUP expert panel judges the strength of the evidence linking various factors (specific foods, body fat, physical activity, etc.) to the risk of cancer. Only those links judged “convincing” or “probable” will be considered as the panel issues updated Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. The panel grades the collected evidence on a scale:

  • Limited – No Conclusion: Evidence is so limited that no firm conclusion can be made.
  • Limited – Suggestive: The available evidence shows a generally consistent direction of effect (either raising risk or lowering it), but does not meet the criteria for a more strict grade.
  • Probable: Evidence is generally strong and consistent.
  • Convincing: Evidence is robust and consistent that a clear causal relationship exists. What’s more, this relationship is unlikely to be changed as more evidence comes in.
  • Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely: This is a strong judgment by the panel, effectively “ruling out” the existence of a relationship between a given factor and cancer risk.

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