Investigation into the risk of developing second primary tumours in survivors of previous upper aero-digestive cancers

Principal Investigator: Dr Robert Rintoul, Papworth Hospital

Co-Investigator: Dr Yoryos Lyratzopoulos, Department of Public Health and Primary Care

Funded by: CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme Pump Priming Awards 2016

This project addresses an emerging problem in cancer prevention and control – the development of second primary cancer in survivors of previous upper aero-digestive cancer (lung, head and neck, oesophagus). This new challenge has arisen because of the welcome and substantive improvement in cancer survival, but it calls for new research and interventions to mitigate that risk.

Building on pilot work examining outcomes in head and neck cancer survivors who develop second primary cancers, this project will examine the risk patterns and variation in risk of developing smoking-related cancers in survivors of lung, oesophagus and head and neck cancer. This project also provides an opportunity for laboratory, clinical, epidemiological and health economics enquiries to characterize mechanisms and risk patterns and develop interventions to minimise the risk of second cancer.

It will also allow us to begin to develop methods for early detection of second primary cancers with a view to improving outcomes. This work will inform plans to establish a cohort of upper aero-digestive survivors who could be studied prospectively to develop biomarkers related to individual disease risk and early diagnosis and evaluate new preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and models of care across primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare.