Project 3: Biologic Factors and Prostate Cancer

Energetics, fatal prostate cancer, and overall survival project 3_dna

The overall goal of this project, co-led by Jing Ma, MD, PhD, and Howard Sesso, ScD, is to gain a better understanding of the biological mechanisms linking obesity with prostate cancer survival, with a focus on biomarkers of the insulin/IGF pathway and adipocyte function.

The specific aims are:

  • to investigate how adiposity assessed at multiple points during adult life, and type 2 diabetes, and the insulin/IGF metabolic pathway influence prostate cancer survival in the Physicians’ Health Study
  • to evaluate insulin/IGF metabolism, circulating biomarkers, genetic determinants, and dietary input at multiple levels, including pathologic conditions
  • to examine whether the built environment also influences prostate cancer survival through its impact on physical activity and to delineate the pathways linking this macro-level variable to obesity, biomarker levels, and cancer survivorship

This project will investigate how geospatial and genetic variables are related to biomarker levels and prostate cancer survival allowing for thematic continuity across projects. We expect that findings of these studies will provide new insights into the role of energy metabolism in prostate cancer progression; will guide the identification of novel cancer therapeutic targets; and will help the development of cancer prevention strategies spanning urban planning, diet, and lifestyle modification.