iarc newsletter
Donate now

Metabolism Teams
Metabolic Epidemiology Team (MET)

Starting date: January 2021

Work Programme

The Metabolic Epidemiology Team (MET) conducts collaborative research using diverse but complementary analytical methods, including traditional and molecular epidemiological approaches, such as Mendelian randomization, gene–environment interaction, metabolomics, proteomics, and molecular pathological analyses.

Projects are conducted using data from worldwide prospective cohorts, clinical databases, and consortia. The research focuses mainly on identifying etiological risk factors for gastrointestinal cancers, specifically examining how obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, and related metabolic abnormalities influence cancer development, and molecular epidemiological approaches are used to uncover the mediating biological pathways.

MET recently initiated a portfolio of studies to investigate the etiology of early-onset colorectal cancer, for which the rising incidence rates remain unexplained. This research is conducted within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cohort Consortium project (the Colorectal Cancer Pooling Project [C2P2]). MET also leverages data from clinical databases and genetic consortia to identify causal relationships between putative risk factors and the development of early-onset colorectal cancer.

Team Composition

Team Leader: Dr Neil Murphy, Nutrition and Metabolism Branch (NME), IARC
Email: MurphyN@iarc.fr

Team members:
Dr Niki Dimou (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Rhea Harewood (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Ruhina Laskar (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Matthew Lee (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Nikolaos Papadimitriou (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Ms Sally Moldan (Secretary, NME)

Key networks: Colorectal Cancer Pooling Project (C2P2), European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO)

Key funding: Fondation pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), Institut national de Cancer (INCa), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)

Key publications

  1. Murphy N, Song M, Papadimitriou N, Carreras-Torres R, Langenberg C, Martin RM, et al. (2022). Associations between glycemic traits and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomization analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst. djac011. https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djac011 PMID:35048991
  2. Dimou N, Mori N, Harlid S, Harbs J, Martin RM, Smith-Byrne K, et al. (2021). Circulating levels of testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin and colorectal cancer risk: observational and Mendelian randomization analyses. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 30(7):1336–48. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1690 PMID:33879453
  3. Murphy N, Carreras-Torres R, Song M, Chan AT, Martin RM, Papadimitriou N, et al. (2020). Circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 associate with risk of colorectal cancer based on serologic and Mendelian randomization analyses. Gastroenterology. 158(5):1300–1312.e20. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.020 PMID:31884074
  4. Papadimitriou N, Dimou N, Tsilidis KK, Banbury B, Martin RM, Lewis SJ, et al. (2020). Physical activity and risks of breast and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomisation analysis. Nat Commun. 11(1):597. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14389-8 PMID:32001714



Close Reading Mode