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Role of the calcium sensing receptor (CaR) in prevention of colonic hyperproliferation

Final Activity Report Summary - CaR IN COLON CANCER (Role of the calcium sensing receptor (CaR) in prevention of colonic hyperproliferation)

The major objective of this project was to clarify how dietary calcium might prevent colon cancer.

Nowadays, at least one in five of the population of the world will develop a cancer of some sort. Therefore, its control and prevention are of utmost importance. Since several studies reported inverse associations between calcium intake and colorectal tumours, we concentrated our attention on studying the mechanisms by which calcium could perform this task.

Using cancer cells, we were able to show that calcium indeed reduced the capability of these cells to divide. The method we employed, called microarray analysis, allowed us to discover several ways through which calcium could be beneficial in preventing the occurrence of cancer of the large bowel. Besides the mechanisms we had already thought of being influenced by calcium, like the cell cycle, we discovered several unexpected ones, e.g. those connected with protein degradation. These results opened up new research directions and would be the basis for further cooperation between Prof. Thakker, from the University of Oxford, and Dr Kállay, from the Medical University of Vienna. The already obtained along with our future data would allow us to give advice on whether and when it would be beneficial to take calcium supplements, which represent an easy, painless, effective and inexpensive way that could help to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.