Dr. Giovannucci was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Cancer and Diet.
Edward Giovannucci’s primary research efforts focus on how nutritional, hormonal, and genetic factors are related to various malignancies, especially those of the prostate and large bowel. Much of this work is based on the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Physicians’ Health Study cohorts. For prostate cancer, his work has centered on the role of specific antioxidants, particularly lycopene, and on the potentially deleterious effects of diets high in calcium and dietary fat. In addition to establishing risk factors, his team has been interested in understanding etiologic mechanisms that will help provide a solid scientific rationale for preventive strategies.
Regarding colorectal cancer, his team’s work in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study has established specific modifiable risk factors that contribute to over 70% of colorectal cancers. They have helped establish several factors that increase risk of colorectal cancer, including central obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and diets high in red and processed meats.
They have undertaken the collection of tumor tissue blocks for prostate cancer and colorectal cancer and precursor lesions (adenomas) within the Nurses’ Health Study, Physicians’ Health Study, and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.