This renewal application seeks support for the infrastructure of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study, which was established in Hawaii and southern California in 1993-1996 to study risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases. The study was designed to take advantage of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the two geographic areas, as well as the expertise of the investigators in nutrition, ethnic/racial studies, and genetics. It is the most ethnically diverse cancer cohort in existence. It achieves high cost-efficiency by supplementing active follow-up information with computerized linkages to SEER, vital statistics, hospital-discharge diagnoses, medical claim data, electronic medical records and geospatial information. At baseline, the cohort included information on 215,000 men and women, comprised almost entirely of five ethnic/racial populations: Caucasians, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, African Americans, and Latinos. The resource was later expanded to include a prospective biorepository of blood and urine specimens from ~70,000 of the participants. Leadership of the MEC entails a highly interactive, team approach; and the investigators have amply demonstrated their willingness to share data/samples, and to participate actively in consortia. This application describes our aims over the next 5 years for maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure of the MEC, as well as plans for methodological research. Research accomplishments include significant contributions to understanding both genetic and environmental risk factors for cancer. Over 280 papers describing our findings have been published during the current grant cycle. In addition, over the last 20 years, 98 research grants have been built around the MEC, and more than 75 students and postdoctoral fellows have been trained on the study. This grant renewal will make possible the continuation of a well-integrated program of research aimed at evaluating environmental and genetic risk factors for cancer and other common chronic diseases, taking advantage of new approaches, such as genomics, microbiomics, adductomics and metabolomics. The MEC will allow the testing of innovative research hypotheses aimed at ensuring that progress in prevention applies to major US ethnic/racial minorities.

Public Health Relevance

The Multiethnic Cohort Study is a powerful resource for continuing research efforts aimed at greater understanding of the environmental causes of cancer and other chronic diseases, and how these risk factors interact with genetic variants to explain some of the ethnic/racial disparities in cancer risks in the U.S. population. It is our hope that this work ultimately will provide useful insights into the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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Mahabir, Somdat
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University of Hawaii
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United States
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Ke, Wangjing; Rand, Kristin A; Conti, David V et al. (2018) Evaluation of 71 Coronary Artery Disease Risk Variants in a Multiethnic Cohort. Front Cardiovasc Med 5:19
Theofylaktopoulou, Despoina; Midttun, Øivind; Ueland, Per M et al. (2018) Impaired functional vitamin B6 status is associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Int J Cancer 142:2425-2434
Butt, Julia; Blot, William J; Teras, Lauren R et al. (2018) Antibody Responses to Streptococcus Gallolyticus Subspecies Gallolyticus Proteins in a Large Prospective Colorectal Cancer Cohort Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 27:1186-1194
Ferreiro-Iglesias, Aida; Lesseur, Corina; McKay, James et al. (2018) Fine mapping of MHC region in lung cancer highlights independent susceptibility loci by ethnicity. Nat Commun 9:3927
Cook, Michael B; Barnett, Matthew J; Bock, Cathryn H et al. (2018) Prediagnostic circulating markers of inflammation and risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma: a study within the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium. Gut :
Murphy, Sharon E; Park, Sungshim Lani; Balbo, Silvia et al. (2018) Tobacco biomarkers and genetic/epigenetic analysis to investigate ethnic/racial differences in lung cancer risk among smokers. NPJ Precis Oncol 2:17
Park, Song-Yi; Freedman, Neal D; Haiman, Christopher A et al. (2018) Prospective Study of Coffee Consumption and Cancer Incidence in Non-White Populations. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 27:928-935
Park, S-Y; Wilkens, L R; Maskarinec, G et al. (2018) Weight change in older adults and mortality: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Int J Obes (Lond) 42:205-212
Gong, J; Nishimura, K K; Fernandez-Rhodes, L et al. (2018) Trans-ethnic analysis of metabochip data identifies two new loci associated with BMI. Int J Obes (Lond) 42:384-390
O'Reilly, Éilis J; Bjornevik, Kjetil; Schwarzschild, Michael A et al. (2018) Pre-diagnostic plasma urate and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 19:194-200

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