Diet, genes & cancer

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On the relationships between genes, diet and cancer - challenges and opportunities to study their link

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Diet, genes & cancer

  1. 1. Diet, genes andcancer Prof. Dr. Koen Kas European Cancer Prevention Meeting - Alba, Italy November 25, 201101/12/2011 1
  2. 2. Outline Literature and stories Two ‘missing links’ New ways to study relationship ConclusionsKoen Kas 2
  3. 3. Insight from literature on the topic # PubMed # GoogleGenes & cancer 152.300 X 500 71.600.000Diet & genes 8.150 24.900.000Diet & cancer 29.600 X 10.000 302.000.000Diet, genes & cancer 1.370 14.200.000 Search October 23, 2011Koen Kas 3
  4. 4. Insight from literature on the topic # PubMed # GoogleGenes & cancer X5 152.300 71.600.000 : 5Diet & genes 8.150 24.900.000Diet & cancer 29.600 302.000.000Diet, genes & cancer 1.370 14.200.000 Search October 23, 2011Koen Kas 4
  5. 5. The classic stories Change in dietetic habits when people migrate to other countries  Incidence of colorectal cancer and breast cancer  Increases 3-6 times when the Japanese migrate to HawaiKoen Kas 5
  6. 6. Some classic playersKoen Kas 6
  7. 7. Centenarians now constitute the fastest-growing age group owing to advances in health careKoen Kas 7
  8. 8. Koen Kas 8
  9. 9. Defence mechanisms to be influenced by diet Minimise damage  Inhibition oxidative reactions by free radical scavenging  Detoxification of potential mutagens Repair damage Remove damaged cells (apoptosis)Koen Kas 9
  10. 10. Genes & cancer 10 years into the ‘human genome’, function of 40% of our 21.000 genes is still a mystery – 400+ drive cancer directlyKoen Kas 10
  11. 11. Diet & genes (nutrigenetic effects)Genetic polymorphisms alter response to dietary components by influencing absorption, metabolism, or site of actionKoen Kas 11
  12. 12. Diet & cancerNot possible to mimic ‘immediate’ effects of artificial geneticmutations (KO mice, silencing vectors) for food components Koen Kas 12
  13. 13. Diet, genes & cancerSo how do we overcome sample size and outcome issues ?Koen Kas 13
  14. 14. Why so difficult to create ‘strong’ data ? Lack of robust surrogate endpoints  cf. cholesterol – cardiovasc. diseases, glucose tolerance - diabetes  Starts changing with the appearance of biomarkers for cancer risk Requires large prospective cohort studies (for observation)  European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)  To include adjustments for confounding factors Intervention studies required to prove causality  Including prospective genotypingKoen Kas 14
  15. 15. Enter epigeneticsKoen Kas 15
  16. 16. Epigenetics Study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence DNA methylation and histone deacetylation serve to suppress gene expression without altering their sequenceKoen Kas 16
  17. 17. The epigenetic codeKoen Kas 17
  18. 18. Epigenetics, II Changes remain through cell divisions for remainder of cells life and may last for multiple generations NO change in the underlying DNA sequence Allows to study how genes react to environmental and dietary influences Certain genes that help prevent cancer turned off with certain foods while other foods turn on genes to fight cancerKoen Kas 18
  19. 19. Enter the microbiome > our 400 billion cells > our 21.000 genes Transferring the microbes from obese mouse to a lean mouse results in weight gain for the recipient Could ‘modification of’ intestinal flora influence health / disease ?Koen Kas 19
  20. 20. How to overcome conceptual and practical challenges ? New technologies to the rescue  Next Gen (deep) Sequencing  Social networksKoen Kas 20
  21. 21. Decoding the human genome …2001-2003Database of known and hypothetical genes/ proteins from mix of individualsKoen Kas 21
  22. 22. … initiated the future of medicine (public perception) Medicine tailored to the patient (Personalised) “DNA-based” diagnostics: the birth of biomarkers First routinely used biomarkers are indeed specific DNA mutationsKoen Kas 22
  23. 23. The tip of the icebergKoen Kas 23
  24. 24. But what was / is the real impact ?Koen Kas 24
  25. 25. Koen Kas 25
  26. 26. Koen Kas 26
  27. 27. Next generation nucleotide sequencing (NGS) Towards the 100(0)$ genome in a few hours Deep sequencing of 3.000.000.000 nucleotidesKoen Kas 27
  28. 28. Consumer diagnostics companies Empower individuals with real-time info medical risks  23andme  Navigenics  DecodeMe Koen Kas 28
  29. 29. Build on ‘Patient’ awareness Social network Will lead to web-based self diagnosisKoen Kas 29
  30. 30. The potential of 700 million people connectedKoen Kas 30
  31. 31. Consumer Apps diet The Eatery (Massive Health)Koen Kas 32
  32. 32. 4Koen Kas 33
  33. 33. Genes VERSUS diet -> 1. Genes AND diet Cancer Cancer Cancer Genes Diet Genes Diet Diet GenesKoen Kas 34
  34. 34. 2. Diet does not change structure, but how genes are expressed (Epigenetics)Koen Kas 35
  35. 35. 3. Our microbiome an important new determinantKoen Kas 36
  36. 36. 4. Power to perform decent studies to unravel linkKoen Kas 37
  37. 37. Contact informationProf. Dr. Koen KasProfessor University Ghent, BelgiumChief Executive Officer, InBioVeritasE koen.kas@inbioveritas.comW http://inbioveritas.com/L be.linkedin.com/in/koenkasT @kaskoen 38

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