Research Into Obesity-Cancer Link Gets Big Boost

National Cancer Institute will give $54 million to four U.S. centers

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THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) is awarding $54 million to four American institutions to study the relationship between obesity and cancer.

The money is for the five-year Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) initiative, which will study the effects that diet, weight and physical activity have on malignancy.

"TREC will bring together outstanding scientists from many disciplines. Together, these experts will answer critical questions that will help guide our nation's public health efforts. NCI is determined to help avoid an increase in cancer deaths in the 21st century due to obesity like the one caused by tobacco in the 20th century," Robert Croyle, director of the NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, said in a prepared statement.

The TREC centers are: Case Western Reserve University; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Minnesota; and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

"Obesity and related factors such as poor diet and inactivity are known to contribute to cancer risk, and these are factors we can actually do something about," Michael I. Goran, Keck School professor of preventive medicine and physiology and biophysics, said in a prepared statement.

"Our goal is to study obesity from all directions -- from physiology to behavior -- and focus on children from high-risk ethnic groups to further understand ethnic disparities in the relationship between obesity, metabolism and health," said Goran, who is also associate director of the USC Institute for Prevention Research and director of the new TREC Center at USC.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about obesity and cancer.

SOURCE: University of Southern California, news release, Oct. 11, 2005

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