The Australian Breakthrough Cancer (ABC) Study is a long-term study working with over 50,000 Australians to investigate the causes of common non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer. Using the latest technologies, the ABC Study will measure each participants’ genetic profile and, together with questionnaire data, investigate the role that our genes, lifestyle and environment play in the development of cancer and other diseases.
The study will periodically collect lifestyle and health related information from participants. Researchers can then compare the data from those who go on to develop cancer or other diseases to those who do not, to look for patterns. Any patterns that are identified can then be investigated further.
In regard to cancer, the ABC Study is seeking breakthroughs that will enable more individualised prevention and screening to occur. Currently, most public health interventions are based on a one-size-fits-all approach, rather than on personalised risk estimation. By more accurately predicting cancer risk based on an individual's genetic profile and lifestyle, more customised health advice and better targeted public health messages may be delivered. In the future, prevention strategies such as screening could be aimed at those who will benefit from them, sparing a proportion of the population from unnecessary investigations.
Would you like to hear more about the study? Listen to ABC radio's Trevor Chappell's 15 December 2016 interview with Prof Roger Milne, who is the Chief Investigator on the Study. Roger is also Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Division. Note: the ABC Study is not affiliated with ABC broadcasting.