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Global nutrition research: nutrition and breast cancer prevention as a model

Authors

  • Sophie A Lelièvre,

    1. Department of Nutrition Science, Center for Cancer Research, Women's Global Health Institute, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    2. Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
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  • Connie M Weaver

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition Science, Center for Cancer Research, Women's Global Health Institute, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    • Correspondence: CM Weaver, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059, USA. E-mail: weavercm@purdue.edu. Phone: +1-765-494-8231. Fax: +1-765-494-0694.

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Abstract

The gene-environment interaction is paramount in light of the worldwide rise in incidence of chronic diseases, with cancers in the pole position. Diet is an environmental factor with potential to influence cancer onset by shaping the epigenome (i.e., the genome organization that controls the differential expression of genes). Yet, there is no consensus regarding how diet might help prevent breast cancer, the second most frequent malignancy globally. The complexity of breast cancers requires working on a global and multidisciplinary scale to further understand the relationship between breast cancer type, diet, and the epigenome. This article describes the International Breast Cancer & Nutrition collaboration as one such approach. A global endeavor brings the diversity necessary to pinpoint important diet-gene relationships. Being developed are models, detection and assessment tools, and funding and public policy frameworks necessary to advance primary prevention research for the benefit of all populations affected by breast cancer. This paradigm can be adapted to understanding diet-gene relationships for other chronic diseases.

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