These interlinked research projects aimed to establish the role of heterocyclic amines in colorectal cancer and to determine whether particular genetic groups of the population are at a greater risk.
<p>A particular emphasis of this study was to consider the role of genetic makeup in the susceptibility to the disease.
<p>Laboratory tests have shown that heterocyclic amines can damage genetic material and cause cancer in laboratory animals; it has been suggested they may have a role in the development of large bowel cancer in humans.
Large bowel cancer is one of the main causes of death from cancer in the UK and has been shown to be associated with diet.
<p>The Agency has funded three research contracts on the relationship between large bowel cancer and red meat consumption.
<p>The studies looked specifically at the role of 'heterocyclic amines', which are chemicals produced in the cooking and processing of red meat at high temperatures. The three projects undertaken are:<ul>
<li>Can biomarkers be used to assess the carcinogenic potential of heterocyclic amines? (T01003)
<li>Heterocyclic amines as risk factors in colon cancer (T01004)
<li>Measurement of the formation of MeIQx and PhIP-DNA adducts in human colon cancer and non-cancer patients (T01005)
<p>The collaborative studies conducted at the University of York, Imperial College London and the University of Dundee, working with the University of Leeds, investigated about 1000 individuals, approximately 500 with large bowel cancer and 500 matched controls without cancer.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.