Red Meat Tied to Colon Cancer Risk Among Those With Specific Genetic Variant

Fresh raw beef on cutting board red meatRed and processed meat consumption was significantly associated with colorectal cancer risk in patients who had a common gene mutation, researchers recently an-nounced. The variant is located on the same chromosome 10 region as GATA3, “a transcription factor gene previously linked to several forms of cancer” that normally plays a role in the immune system, Figueiredo said in a presentation at the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium in Boston, Mass. Possible mechanisms of action include a gut microbiome that differs by dietary habits, or it may be possible that processed meat triggers a pro-tumorigenic inflammatory or immunological response, the authors suggested.

My Take: If confirmed, these findings have public health significance, as diet is a modifiable risk factor for colorectal cancer. We are getting closer to the day when we can advise individuals on their personal risk factors for particular cancers. It may be that some may consume meat without harm, while others may want to significantly scale back consumption, given their personal genetics. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

Reference: Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium; Figueiredo J, et al “Genome-wide analysis highlights gene interaction with processed meat and vegetable intake for colorectal cancer risk” GECCO 2013.

Published by


Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s