The George Institute For Global Health
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Childhood Diseases and Cancer

There is compelling evidence that some environmental and lifestyle factors in pregnancy or childhood increase the risk of certain cancers later in life. Prof. Terence Dwyer, who directs the George Institute for Global Health, at Oxford is the Principal Investigator of the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C) which involves a collaboration of birth cohorts in more than ten countries to obtain prospective evidence on the causes of childhood cancer. Terry also serves as the Chair of the international childhood cardiovascular cohort (i3C) consortium Steering Committee, which brings together all the seven cohorts studies from the United States, Finland and Australia involved in the i3C.

Projects

Examining the Link between Childhood Exposures and Risk of Adult cancer using data from a Cohort Consortium of 40,000 subjects recruited as Children.

This project will follow up participants who were first measured as children approximately 40 years ago. The information available on their early life will include detailed data on lifestyle and on their biology and this will be linked to whether they developed breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer as they aged. This will be the first time that it has been possible to look directly at whether factors operating in childhood influence risk of cancer in middle age.

Early-Life Exposure and Mechanistic Precursors of Cancer Development Later in Childhood

Cancer incidence in children and adolescents has been steadily increasing in most countries, yet our understanding of the origins of these cancers and how they develop has not advanced much. We will use prospectively collected neonatal biospecimens and high-quality questionnaires obtained from a consortium of international birth cohorts of 416,000 subjects (a resource of this size and depth is currently unique in the world) combined with cutting-edge large-scale data-rich biology technologies and advanced bioinformatics and biostatistics analysis to test whether fetal exposures and early molecular precursors in utero affect or constitute pathways causing childhood cancer later in life. This study should provide a leap forward in knowledge concerning the etiology of childhood cancer and reveal potential targets for future preventative strategies targeting malignancies in childhood and adulthood.

Combatting the burden of childhood obesity in lower and middle income countries