More than half of the gastrointestinal tract cancers may be related to the diet. Research to identify active components in the diet reducing the cancer risk, to understand the mechanism of cancer prevention and (the last few years) to design functional foods with the specific goal to reduce the incidence of cancers has made considerable progress. However, a systematic search for effective (combinations of) food compounds or ingredients has not been performed, primarily due to lack of good methodology. An (in vitro) bioassay will be developed, based on genomic and proteomic changes in colorectal cells, to assess the efficacy of (functional) food ingredients in prevention or inhibition of the development of early stages of colorectal cancer. The genomic and proteomic changes in colorectal cells will be powerful biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis as a large portfolio of genes and proteins are tested simultaneously and the assays are easy to perform.
The scientific consensus is that cancers are largely preventable, and one of the most effective means of reducing risk is consumption of appropriate diets. Great efforts have been made in the last ten years to identify active components in the diet reducing cancer risk, to understand the mechanism of cancer prevention, to give better dietary recommendation to reduce cancer risk and to design functional foods with the aim to reduce cancer incidences. Two new technologies have recently become available which allow for a thorough assessment of changes in expression of all known genes (genomics) and proteins (proteomics) involved in (colorectal) carcinogenesis. The aim of the present project is to develop a bioassay, based on genomic and proteomic changes in colorectal cells, in order to identify food components specifically designed to prevent the development or progression of colorectal cancer.
The results of the program will contribute to strategies for the prevention of (colorectal) cancer by designing specific functional food ingredients interfering with the onset or promotion of the carcinogenic process.