clear-studyDr. Brockton and investigators from Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary are studying lifestyle and environmental factors related to the progression of colorectal cancer. Using information from all colorectal cancer patients, they hope to learn more about why some colorectal cancers advance faster than others, and how this might be prevented.

The spread of colorectal cancer (CRC) to the liver is the main cause of death from CRC. However, little research has tried to identify how the spread to the liver can be prevented, particularly by lifestyle changes.

The use of common pain-killing drugs has been linked to longer survival in CRC patients, suggesting that they may reduce or slow the spread of cancer. Likewise, higher levels of vitamin D in the blood have been linked to longer survival in CRC patients. Experiments have shown possible ways in which vitamin D and common pain-killing drugs might stop or slow the spread of CRC but this is the first study to examine the details of how these lifestyle factors could increase survival and reduce the risk of CRC spreading to the liver in a large number of CRC patients. We have already developed and implemented many of the methods which will be used in this study.  If our theories are supported by this research, it may be possible to advise newly diagnosed CRC patients of additional low-risk measures they may use to improve their prospects. This study will also create valuable resources for future research.

This study is confined to our desired population cohort, which includes participants who are <80 years of age, diagnosed with stage II-III colorectal cancer, and reside within the Calgary Health Region. Groups which are specifically excluded are individuals with a previous cancer diagnosis, language barrier, stage, 0, I, or IV colorectal cancer diagnosis, pre-operative chemotherapy, dementia, surgery before pre-operative blood was obtained, and individuals who do not intend to have surgery to treat their cancer.

Co-PIs: Dr Nigel Brockton and Dr. Oliver Bathe
Co-Investigators:  Dr. Karen Kopciuk, Dr. Anthony Magliocco, Dr. David Hanley
Sponsor:  Alberta Cancer Research Institute