Joachim Schüz

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France

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Publications (214)831.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In October 2013, the Radiation Medical Science Center of the Fukushima Medical University and the Section of Environment and Radiation of the International Agency for Research on Cancer held a joint workshop in Fukushima, Japan to discuss opportunities and challenges for long-term studies of the health effects following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident. This report describes four key areas of discussion - thyroid screening, dosimetry, mental health, and non-radiation risk factors - and summarizes recommendations resulting from the workshop. Four recommendations given at the workshop were to: 1) build-up a population-based cancer registry for long-term monitoring of the cancer burden in the prefecture; 2) enable future linkage of data from the various independent activities, particularly those related to dose reconstruction and health status ascertainment; 3) establish long-term observational studies with repeated measurements of lifestyle and behavioural factors to disentangle radiation and non-radiation factors; and 4) implement primary prevention strategies targeted for populations affected by natural disasters, including measures to better understand and address health risk concerns in the affected population. The workshop concluded that coordinated data collection between researchers from different institutes and disciplines can both reduce the burden on the population and facilitate efforts to examine the inter-relationships between the many factors at play.
    Environmental Health 12/2015; 14(1). DOI:10.1186/s12940-015-0013-z · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted naturally from the sun or from artificial sources such as tanning devices. Acute skin reactions induced by UVR exposure are erythema (skin reddening), or sunburn, and the acquisition of a suntan triggered by UVR-induced DNA damage. UVR exposure is the main cause of skin cancer, including cutaneous malignant melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma, and squamous-cell carcinoma. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in fair-skinned populations, and its incidence has increased steeply over recent decades. According to estimates for 2012, about 100,000 new cases of cutaneous melanoma and about 22,000 deaths from it occurred in Europe. The main mechanisms by which UVR causes cancer are well understood. Exposure during childhood appears to be particularly harmful. Exposure to UVR is a risk factor modifiable by individuals' behaviour. Excessive exposure from natural sources can be avoided by seeking shade when the sun is strongest, by wearing appropriate clothing, and by appropriately applying sunscreens if direct sunlight is unavoidable. Exposure from artificial sources can be completely avoided by not using sunbeds. Beneficial effects of sun or UVR exposure, such as for vitamin D production, can be fully achieved while still avoiding too much sun exposure and the use of sunbeds. Taking all the scientific evidence together, the recommendation of the 4th edition of the European Code Against Cancer for ultraviolet radiation is: "Avoid too much sun, especially for children. Use sun protection. Do not use sunbeds." Copyright © 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
    06/2015; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2014.12.014
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    ABSTRACT: Some previous studies have suggested that home pesticide exposure before birth and during a child's early years may increase the risk of childhood leukemia. To further investigate this, we pooled individual level data from 12 case-control studies in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC). Exposure data were harmonized into compatible formats. Pooled analyses were undertaken using multivariable unconditional logistic regression. The odds ratio (ORs) for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) associated with any pesticide exposure shortly before conception, during pregnancy and after birth were 1.39 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25, 1.55) (using (2,785 cases, 3635 controls), 1.43 (95% CI 1.32, 1.54) (5,055 cases, 7,370 controls) and 1.36 (95% CI 1.23, 1.51) (4,162 cases 5,179 controls), respectively. Corresponding ORs for risk of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) were 1.49 (95% CI 1.02, 2.16) (173 cases, 1,789 controls), 1.55 (95% CI 1.21, 1.99) (344 cases, 4,666 controls) and 1.08 (95% CI 0.76, 1.53) (198 cases, 2,655 controls) respectively. There was little difference by type of pesticide used. The relative similarity in ORs between leukaemia types, time periods and pesticide types may be explained by similar exposure patterns and effects across the time periods in ALL and AML, participants' exposure to multiple pesticides, or recall bias. Although some recall bias is likely, until a better study design can be found to investigate associations between home pesticide use and childhood leukaemia in an equally large sample, it would appear prudent to limit the use of home pesticides before and during pregnancy, and during childhood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 UICC.
    International Journal of Cancer 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/ijc.29631 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study methods for how to include the spatial distribution of tumours when investigating the relation between brain tumours and the exposure from radio frequency electromagnetic fields caused by mobile phone use. Our suggested point process model is adapted from studies investigating spatial aggregation of a disease around a source of potential hazard in environmental epidemiology, where now the source is the preferred ear of each phone user. In this context, the spatial distribution is a distribution over a sample of patients rather than over multiple disease cases within one geographical area. We show how the distance relation between tumour and phone can be modelled nonparametrically and, with various parametric functions, how covariates can be included in the model and how to test for the effect of distance. To illustrate the models, we apply them to a subset of the data from the Interphone Study, a large multinational case-control study on the association between brain tumours and mobile phone use. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Statistics in Medicine 05/2015; DOI:10.1002/sim.6538 · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of genetic polymorphisms in pediatric brain tumor (PBT) etiology is poorly understood. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on adult glioma would also be associated with PBT risk. The study is based on the Cefalo study, a population-based multicenter case-control study. Saliva DNA from 245 cases and 489 controls, aged 7-19 years at diagnosis/reference date, was extracted and genotyped for 29 SNPs reported by GWAS to be significantly associated with risk of adult glioma. Data were analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Stratified analyses were performed for two histological subtypes: astrocytoma alone and the other tumor types combined. The results indicated that four SNPs, CDKN2BAS rs4977756 (p=0.036), rs1412829 (p=0.037), rs2157719 (p=0.018), and rs1063192 (p=0.021), were associated with an increased susceptibility to PBTs, whereas the TERT rs2736100 was associated with a decreased risk (p=0.018). Moreover, the stratified analyses showed a decreased risk of astrocytoma associated with RTEL1 rs6089953, rs6010620, and rs2297440 (ptrend=0.022, ptrend=0.042, ptrend=0.029, respectively) as well as an increased risk of this subtype associated with RTEL1 rs4809324 (ptrend=0.033). In addition, SNPs rs10464870 and rs891835 in CCDC26 were associated with an increased risk of non-astrocytoma tumor subtypes (ptrend=0.009, ptrend=0.007, respectively). Our findings indicate that SNPs in CDKN2BAS, TERT, RTEL1, and CCDC26 may be associated with the risk of PBTs. Therefore, we suggest that pediatric and adult brain tumors might share common genetic risk factors and similar etiological pathways. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Carcinogenesis 05/2015; DOI:10.1093/carcin/bgv074 · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tobacco-related cancers (TRC) represent approximately a third of the cancer incidence in Denmark. However, tobacco consumption levels in immigrants may differ to the native population. We compared incidence rates of nine TRCs among male immigrants of first and second generation in Denmark with those among males of the native population. We used an established cohort of all Danish men (1978-2010) and calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) to compare incidence by immigration status and region of birth for nine TRCs. We identified 131 317 incident cases of TRCs among 3 508 204 men (280 526 first generation and 129 056 second generation immigrants). Overall, immigrants of both generations experienced approximately 15% lower incidence of TRC than natives, however, with large variations by country of birth and type of TRC. Compared to natives, lung cancer incidence in first and second generation immigrants was 10% and 27% lower, respectively. However, lung cancer incidence increased in first generation immigrants reaching the level of native Danes in the late 2000s. First generation immigrants experienced approximately 50% lower incidence of lower urinary tract cancer than natives. However, only liver and stomach cancer had higher SIRs in immigrants. Overall TRC incidence was lower among immigrants than in native Danes. Lower urinary tract cancer among first generation immigrants warrants further investigation.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 03/2015; DOI:10.3109/0284186X.2015.1016626 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To address social inequality in survival after lung cancer, it is important to consider how socioeconomic position (SEP) influences prognosis. We investigated whether SEP influenced receipt of first-line treatment and whether socioeconomic differences in survival could be explained by differences in stage, treatment and comorbidity. In the Danish Lung Cancer Register, we identified 13 045 patients with lung cancer diagnosed in 2004-2010, with information on stage, histology, performance status and first-line treatment. We obtained age, gender, vital status, comorbid conditions and socioeconomic information (education, income and cohabitation status) from nationwide population-based registers. Associations between SEP and receipt of first-line treatment were analysed in multivariate logistic regression models and those with overall mortality in Cox regression models with stepwise inclusion of possible mediators. For both low- and high-stage lung cancer, adjusted ORs for first-line treatment were reduced in patients with short education and low income, although the OR for education did not reach statistical significance in men with high-stage disease. Patients with high-stage disease who lived alone were less likely to receive first-line treatment. The socioeconomic difference in overall survival was partly explained by differences in stage, treatment and comorbidity, although some differences remained after adjustment. Among patients with high-stage disease, the hazard ratio (HR) for death of those with low income was 1.12 (95% CI 1.05-1.19) in comparison with those with high income. Among patients with low-stage disease, those who lived alone had a 14% higher risk for dying (95% CI 1.05-1.25) than those who lived with a partner. The differences in risk for death by SEP were greatest in the first six months after diagnosis. Socioeconomic differences in survival after lung cancer are partly explained by social inequality in stage, first-line treatment and comorbidity. Efforts should be made to improve early diagnosis and adherence to first-line treatment recommendations among disadvantaged lung cancer patients.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 03/2015; 54(5):1-8. DOI:10.3109/0284186X.2014.1001037 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: To follow up populations exposed to several radiation accidents in the Southern Urals, a cause-of-death registry was established at the Urals Center capturing deaths in the Chelyabinsk, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk region since 1950. Objectives: When registering deaths over such a long time period, quality measures need to be in place to maintain quality and reduce the impact of individual coders as well as quality changes in death certificates. Methods: To ensure the uniformity of coding, a method for semi-automatic coding was developed, which is described here. Briefly, the method is based on a dynamic thesaurus, database-supported coding and parallel coding by two different individuals. Results: A comparison of the proposed method for organizing the coding process with the common procedure of coding showed good agreement, with, at the end of the coding process, 70 - 90% agreement for the three-digit ICD -9 rubrics. Conclusions: The semi-automatic method ensures a sufficiently high quality of coding by at the same time providing an opportunity to reduce the labor intensity inherent in the creation of large-volume cause-of-death registries.
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the relationship between family characteristics and survival from childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), which we studied for the first time in German children. ALL cases were diagnosed between 1992 and 1994 and information on family characteristics was collected during a previously conducted nationwide case-control study. Children were followed for 10 years after diagnosis, as few disease-related events occur afterwards. Cox proportional hazards models estimating hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using overall as well as event-free survival methods. Second born children showed statistically significant better survival compared to first or later born children, with HRs ranging between 0.54 and 0.64 compared to firstborns. Somewhat poorer survival was observed for children having 3 or more siblings. A relationship was found for parental age at child's diagnosis, with poorer survival for children with younger parents (≤25 years of age at child's diagnosis), or with older fathers. The HR was statistically significant for fathers being ≥41years of age (HR of 2.1). No relationship between degree of urbanization of the place of residence at diagnosis and ALL survival was observed. Family circumstances may have an impact on survival from childhood ALL in Germany. Further research is warranted to elaborate the relationship of specific family characteristics and ALL survival and to investigate possible differential adherence to therapy and interactions with physicians. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Cancer Epidemiology 02/2015; 39(2). DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2015.01.012 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the risk of lung cancer among cooks, while controlling for smoking habits. We used data from the SYNERGY project including pooled information on lifetime work histories and smoking habits from 16 case-control studies conducted in Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and China. Before adjustment for smoking, we observed an increased risk of lung cancer in male cooks, but not in female cooks. After adjusting, there was no increased risk and no significant exposure-response relationship. Nevertheless, subgroup analyses highlighted some possible excess risks of squamous cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma in female cooks. There is evidence that lung cancer risks among cooks may be confounded by smoking. After adjustment, cooks did not experience an increased risk of lung cancer overall. The subgroup analyses showing some excess risks among female cooks require cautious interpretation.
    Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 02/2015; 57(2):202-9. DOI:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000337 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology 12/2014; 10:24-24. · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal occupational pesticide exposure during pregnancy and/or paternal occupational pesticide exposure around conception have been suggested to increase risk of leukemia in the offspring. With a view to providing insight in this area we pooled individual level data from 13 case-control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC). Occupational data were harmonized to a compatible format. Pooled individual analyses were undertaken using unconditional logistic regression. Using exposure data from mothers of 8,236 cases, and 14,850 controls, and from fathers of 8,169 cases and 14,201 controls the odds ratio (OR) for maternal exposure during pregnancy and the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was 1.01 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78, 1.30) and for paternal exposure around conception 1.20 (95% 1.06, 1.38). For acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the OR for maternal exposure during pregnancy was 1.94 (CI 1.19, 3.18) and for paternal exposure around conception 0.91 (CI 0.66, 1.24.) based on data from 1,329 case and 12,141 control mothers, and 1,231 case and 11,383 control fathers. Our finding of a significantly increased risk of AML in the offspring with maternal exposure to pesticides during pregnancy is consistent with previous reports. We also found a slight increase in risk of ALL with paternal exposure around conception which appeared to be more evident in children diagnosed at the age of five years or more and those with T cell ALL which raises interesting questions on possible mechanisms. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 11/2014; 25(10). DOI:10.1002/ijc.28854 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced stage at diagnosis contributes to low breast cancer survival rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Living far from health services is known to delay presentation, but the effect of distance, the radius at which the effect sets in and the women most affected has not been quantified. In a peri-urban South African setting, we examined the effect of a GIS-measured straight-line distance, from a patient's residence to diagnostic hospital, on stage at diagnosis in 1071 public-sector breast cancer patients diagnosed during 2006-12. Generalized linear models were used to estimate risk ratios for late stage (stage III/IV vs stage I/II) associated with distance, adjusting for year of diagnosis, age, race and socioeconomic indicators. Mean age of patients was 55 years, 90% were Black African, and diagnoses were at stages I (5%), II (41%), III (46%) and IV (8%). 62% of patients with distances >20 km (n=347) had a late stage at diagnosis compared to 50% with distances <20 km (n=724, p=0.02). Risk of late stage at diagnosis was 1.25-fold higher (95% CI: 1.09, 1.42) per 30 km. Effects were pronounced in an under-represented group of patients over age 70. This positive stage-distance association held to 40 km, and plateaued or slightly reversed in patients (9%) living beyond this distance. Studies of woman and the societal and healthcare-level influences on these delays and on the late stage at diagnosis distribution are needed to inform interventions that improve diagnostic stage and breast cancer survival rates in this and similar settings. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 11/2014; 135(9). DOI:10.1002/ijc.28861 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Higher childhood cancer incidence rates are generally reported for high income countries although high quality information on descriptive patterns of childhood cancer incidence for low or middle income countries is limited, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a need to quantify global differences by cancer types, and to investigate whether they reflect true incidence differences or can be attributed to under-diagnosis or under-reporting. For the first time, we describe childhood cancer data reported to the pathology report-based National Cancer Registry South Africa in 2000 – 2006 and compare our results to incidence data from Germany, a high income country. The overall age-standardized incidence rate (ASR) for South Africa in 2000-2006 was 45.7 per million children. We observed substantial differences by cancer types within South Africa by racial group; ASRs tended to be 3-4-fold higher in South African Whites compared to Blacks. ASRs among both Black and White South Africans were generally lower than those from Germany with the greatest differences observed between the Black population in South Africa and Germany, although there was marked variation between cancer types. Age-specific rates were particularly low comparing South African Whites and Blacks with German infants. Overall, patterns across South African population groups and in comparison to Germans were similar for boys and girls. Genetic and environmental reasons may probably explain rather a small proportion of the observed differences. More research is needed to understand the extent to which under-ascertainment and under-diagnosis of childhood cancers drives differences in observed rates. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 11/2014; 136(11). DOI:10.1002/ijc.29308 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the risk of childhood central nervous system (CNS) tumors associated with parental occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), diesel motor exhaust (DME), asbestos, crystalline silica, and metals, which are established carcinogens in adults.
    Cancer Causes and Control 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10552-014-0465-4 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: •Workshop of cancer research needs in people living by South Africa gold mine tailings.•Environmental measures indicate uranium contamination around gold mine tailings.•Epidemiologic research of human exposures to gold mine tailings currently lacking.•Well-designed epidemiologic studies with individual exposure and outcome data needed.
    Cancer Epidemiology 10/2014; 38(5). DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2014.06.003 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether there is an interaction between distance from residence at birth to nearest power line and domestic radon and traffic-related air pollution, respectively, in relation to childhood leukemia risk. Further, we investigated whether adjusting for potential confounders alters the association between distance to nearest power line and childhood leukemia. We included 1024 cases aged <15, diagnosed with leukemia during 1968-1991, from the Danish Cancer Registry and 2048 controls randomly selected from the Danish childhood population and individually matched by gender and year of birth. We used geographical information systems to determine the distance between residence at birth and the nearest 132-400 kV overhead power line. Concentrations of domestic radon and traffic-related air pollution (NOx at the front door) were estimated using validated models. We found a statistically significant interaction between distance to nearest power line and domestic radon regarding risk of childhood leukemia (p = 0.01) when using the median radon level as cut-off point but not when using the 75th percentile (p = 0.90). We found no evidence of an interaction between distance to nearest power line and traffic-related air pollution (p = 0.73). We found almost no change in the estimated association between distance to power line and risk of childhood leukemia when adjusting for socioeconomic status of the municipality, urbanization, maternal age, birth order, domestic radon and traffic-related air pollution. The statistically significant interaction between distance to nearest power line and domestic radon was based on few exposed cases and controls and sensitive to the choice of exposure categorization and might, therefore, be due to chance.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107096. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107096 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present here a methodology for health risk assessment adopted by the World Health Organization that provides a framework for estimating risks from the Fukushima nuclear accident after the March 11, 2011 Japanese major earthquake and tsunami. Substantial attention has been given to the possible health risks associated with human exposure to radiation from damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Cumulative doses were estimated and applied for each post-accident year of life, based on a reference level of exposure during the first year after the earthquake. A lifetime cumulative dose of twice the first year dose was estimated for the primary radionuclide contaminants ((134)Cs and (137)Cs) and are based on Chernobyl data, relative abundances of cesium isotopes ,and cleanup efforts. Risks for particularly radiosensitive cancer sites (leukemia, thyroid and breast cancer), as well as the combined risk for all solid cancers were considered. The male and female cumulative risks of cancer incidence attributed to radiation doses from the accident, for those exposed at various ages, were estimated in terms of the lifetime attributable risk (LAR). Calculations of LAR were based on recent Japanese population statistics for cancer incidence and current radiation risk models from the Life Span Study of Japanese A-bomb survivors. Cancer risks over an initial period of 15 years after first exposure were also considered. LAR results were also given as a percentage of the lifetime baseline risk (i.e., the cancer risk in the absence of radiation exposure from the accident). The LAR results were based on either a reference first year dose (10 mGy) or a reference lifetime dose (20 mGy) so that risk assessment may be applied for relocated and non-relocated members of the public, as well as for adult male emergency workers. The results show that the major contribution to LAR from the reference lifetime dose comes from the first year dose. For a dose of 10 mGy in the first year and continuing exposure, the lifetime radiation-related cancer risks based on lifetime dose (which are highest for children under 5 years of age at initial exposure), are small, and much smaller than the lifetime baseline cancer risks. For example, after initial exposure at age 1 year, the lifetime excess radiation risk and baseline risk of all solid cancers in females were estimated to be 0.7 · 10(-2) and 29.0 · 10(-2), respectively. The 15 year risks based on the lifetime reference dose are very small. However, for initial exposure in childhood, the 15 year risks based on the lifetime reference dose are up to 33 and 88% as large as the 15 year baseline risks for leukemia and thyroid cancer, respectively. The results may be scaled to particular dose estimates after consideration of caveats. One caveat is related to the lack of epidemiological evidence defining risks at low doses, because the predicted risks come from cancer risk models fitted to a wide dose range (0-4 Gy), which assume that the solid cancer and leukemia lifetime risks for doses less than about 0.5 Gy and 0.2 Gy, respectively, are proportional to organ/tissue doses: this is unlikely to seriously underestimate risks, but may overestimate risks. This WHO-HRA framework may be used to update the risk estimates, when new population health statistics data, dosimetry information and radiation risk models become available.
    Radiation Research 09/2014; 182(5). DOI:10.1667/RR13779.1 · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal prenatal supplementation with folic acid and other vitamins has been inconsistently associated with a reduced risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (AL). Little is known regarding the association with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rarer subtype. Methods: We obtained original data on prenatal use of folic acid and vitamins from 12 case-control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (enrollment period: 1980-2012), including 6,963 cases of AL, 585 cases of AML, and 11,635 controls. Logistic regression was used to estimate pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for child's age, sex, ethnicity, parental education, and study center. Results: Maternal supplements taken any time before conception or during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of childhood AL; odds ratios were 0.85 (95% CI = 0.78-0.92) for vitamin use and 0.80 (0.71-0.89) for folic acid use. The reduced risk was more pronounced in children whose parents' education was below the highest category. The analyses for AML led to somewhat unstable estimates; ORs were 0.92 (0.75-1.14) and 0.68 (0.48-0.96) for prenatal vitamins and folic acid, respectively. There was no strong evidence that risks of either types of leukemia varied by period of supplementation (preconception, pregnancy, or trimester). Conclusions: Our results, based on the largest number of childhood leukemia cases to date, suggest that maternal prenatal use of vitamins and folic acid reduces the risk of both AL and AML and that the observed association with AL varied by parental education, a surrogate for lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics.
    Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) 09/2014; 25(6). DOI:10.1097/EDE.0000000000000141 · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The incidence of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 45 years, has doubled over the last 30 years in developed countries. Reasons remain unclear but a role of environmental factors, especially during critical periods of development, is strongly suspected. Reliable data on environmental exposure during this critical time period are sparse. Little is known on whether it could be a combined effect of early and later-life exposures. Methods/Design Our research aims to study the association between TGCT risk and pesticide exposures (domestic, occupational and environmental) during critical time periods of development and combined early and later-life exposures. The study design, developed during a 2-year pilot study, is a multicenter case–control study of 500 cases (ascertained through histology) and 1000 fertile/fecund controls recruited through 21 French ‘Centres d’Etude et de Conservation des Œufs et de Sperme humain’ (CECOS). Trained professional interviewers interview the subjects and their mothers by phone. Using a geographic information system developed and tested for application in this study design, environmental pesticides exposure assessment is based on life-time residential history. Occupational pesticides exposures are assessed by an industrial hygienist based on parents’ occupations and tasks. Exposures during the prenatal period, early childhood and puberty are focused. A blood sample is collected from each participant to assess genetic polymorphisms known to be associated with TGCT risk, as well as to explore gene-environment interactions. Discussion The results of our study will contribute to better understanding the causes of TGCT and the rapid increase of its incidence. We explore the effect of combined early and later-life pesticides exposure from multiple sources, as well as potential gene-environment interactions that have until now been rarely studied for TGCT. Our design allows future pooled studies and the bio-bank allows additional genetic or toxicological analyses.
    BMC Cancer 08/2014; 14(1):563. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-563 · 3.32 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
831.27 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2014
    • International Agency for Research on Cancer
      • Section of Environment and Radiation
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2004–2014
    • Danish Cancer Society
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2013
    • University of Münster
      • Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine
      Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2011
    • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
      • Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 1997–2011
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      • Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI)
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 2009
    • Universität Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2008
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • Institutet för miljömedicin - IMM
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2005
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
  • 2004–2005
    • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V.
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany