Naam E Wesselink MSc

OrganisatieDepartement Agrotechnologie en Voedingswetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidHumane Voeding & Gezondheid
Reguliere werkdagen
Ma Di Wo Do Vr


Vera heeft de bachelor en master Voeding en Gezondheid aan de Wageningen Universiteit gevolgd. Na haar master is ze gestart met een PhD in de COLON studie. 

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  Vera Wesselink op Linkedin



Project title: Vitamin D, inflammation and colorectal cancer survival

My PhD project is conducted within the COLON study, which is a large prospective cohort study in colorectal cancer patients ( In this project I focussed on vitamin D and inflammation and how this is associated with cancer prognosis (mainly recurrence and all-cause mortality). 

We investigated which factors influence vitamin D levels, how vitamin D levels were associated with CRC outcomes and whether vitamin D levels are associated with levels of inflammation markers. We observed that chemotherapy and the use of vitamin D supplements were the most important determinants of vitamin D status in CRC patients ( Furthermore, the lowest risk of all-cause mortality was observed in CRC patients who had a sufficient vitamin D status (>50nmol/L) and a high magnesium intake (median split). Meaning that an adequate status/intake of both nutrients is essential ( Finally, we observed that higher levels of vitamin D were associated with lower levels of interleukin 6 ( This is promising since interleukin 6 is a key regulator in chronic inflammation and associated with colorectal cancer progression. 

Next, we investigated whether levels of inflammation markers and the inflammatory potential of the diet were associated with colorectal cancer recurrence and survival. We observed that pre and post-operative levels of several inflammation markers were associated with recurrence and/or all-cause mortality. However, although the inflammatory potential of the diet was associated with several inflammation markers, it was not associated with colorectal cancer outcomes.

Next to my main topic, I also looked at the association between lifestyle, including nutrition and fatigue and whether this association was mediated by inflammation. Results of our study indeed suggest that inflammation is one of the underlying mechanisms for the association between lifestyle and fatigue in colorectal cancer patients.

Within this project we would like to focus a bit more on gene-environment interactions as well. 

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