About the Continuous Update Project

What is the Continuous Update Project?

The Continuous Update Project is an ongoing programme to analyse global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival. Among experts worldwide it is a trusted, authoritative scientific resource, which underpins current guidelines and policy for cancer prevention.

The findings from the Continuous Update Project are used to update our Cancer Prevention Recommendations, ensuring that everyone, from policymakers to members of the public, has access to the most up-to-date information on how to minimise the risk of developing the disease.

As part of the Continuous Update Project, scientific research from around the world is collated and added to a database on an ongoing basis and systematically reviewed by a team at Imperial College London. An independent panel of world-renowned experts then evaluate and interpret the evidence to make conclusions based on the body of scientific evidence. Their conclusions form the basis for reviewing, and where necessary revising, our Cancer Prevention Recommendations

A review of the Cancer Prevention Recommendations is expected to be published in May 2018, once an analysis of all of the cancers being assessed has been conducted. So far, new CUP reports have been published on the updated evidence for breast, colorectal (bowel), pancreatic, endometrial (womb), ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, bladder, stomach and oesophageal cancers; as well as for breast cancer survivors.

CUP database

The CUP database is being kept up to date with all relevant papers from randomised controlled trials and cohort studies published for 17 cancers and breast cancer survivors. The database now contains 9,037 publications on these cancers, including publications from the Second Expert Report. 

The CUP database is currently available to researchers on request.


When did the Continuous Update Project begin?

The Continuous Update Project develops the work of our groundbreaking First and Second Expert Reports – published in 1997 and 2007 respectively – which were the first ever comprehensive analyses of the research on diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer. Unlike these Expert Reports, however, the CUP is an ongoing review and captures new research from around the world as it is published.

The latest on the Continuous Update Project

  • Work is under way to develop a methodology for systematically reviewing human and animal mechanistic studies on the link between diet, nutrition, physical activity and the development and progression of different cancers.
  • After the Cancer Prevention Recommendations are reviewed in 2018, newly published studies will continue to be added to the CUP evidence database and reviewed to ensure the Cancer Prevention Recommendations are based on the latest evidence.
  • The findings from the CUP will help to identify priority areas for future cancer prevention research.