About this Research Topic
Decades of investigations into the etiology of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancers have affirmed the important roles that host genetic and epigenetic variations play in susceptibility to these cancers. However, host genetic and epigenetic factors are unlikely to act in isolation, but rather in concert with environmental exposures to influence risk. Furthermore, a gap of missing heritability in gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancer development still exists, despite a vast gamut of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) performed on these cancers. The “hidden” heritability could be addressed, in part, by re-evaluating GWAS data with molecular subtypes of these cancers or by using more refined, hypothesis-driven pathway-based approaches. Emerging data on the roles of epigenetic alterations in gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancer risk also are intriguing and yet not fully quantified or fully understood. This research topic is intended to expand the current knowledge on associations between genetic and epigenetic exposures and risk for gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancer development and derive novel molecular insights into the critical interplay between host biological factors and environmental exposures on susceptibility to these cancers.
The molecular-genetic processes and epigenetic machinery underpinning host and environmental influences on gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancer development are poorly understood. This research topic aims to advance understanding of how host biological differences act independently or interactively with lifestyle or environmental exposures to influence susceptibility to gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancers, toward improved cancer risk assessment, cancer prevention, and reductions in the cancer burden. Knowledge gained from this research topic is expected to open new avenues of genomic investigations in well-defined at-risk groups to inform both population-level preventive strategies and clinical interventions.
We welcome research articles focused on cancers of the following anatomic sites: esophagus, stomach, colon, small intestine, rectum, anus, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract. We are particularly interested in original research articles, reviews, and meta-analyses (Systematic Review article type) covering the following topics:
• Genetic association studies (e.g., SNPs, CNVs, polygenic risk scores)
• Epigenetic associations, risk prediction, or early detection studies
• Gene-by-environment interactions
• Family-based approaches to genetic risk assessment
• Transcriptome-based discovery of genes or pathways involved in cancer development with validation in relevant tissues
Keywords: Cancer, genetic, epigenetic, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary
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