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Alcohol-related cancers and genetic susceptibility in Europe: the ARCAGE project: study samples and data collection

Lagiou, Pagonaa; Georgila, Christinaa; Minaki, Ploumitsaa; Ahrens, Wolfgangb; Pohlabeln, Hermannb; Benhamou, Simonec d; Bouchardy, Christinef; Slamova, Alenag; Schejbalova, Miriamg; Merletti, Francoh; Richiardi, Lorenzoh; Kjaerheim, Kristinal; Agudo, Antoniom; Castellsague, Xavierm; Macfarlane, Tatiana V.n; Macfarlane, Gary J.n; Talamini, Renatoi; Barzan, Luigij; Canova, Cristinak; Simonato, Lorenzok; Lowry, Rayo; Conway, David I.p q; McKinney, Patricia A.q r; Znaor, Arianas; McCartan, Bernard E.t; Healy, Clairet; Nelis, Mariu v; Metspalu, Andresu v w; Marron, Manuelae; Hashibe, Miae; Brennan, Paul J.e

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: February 2009 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 76-84
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32830c8dca
Research Papers: Lifestyle and Cancer

Cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) include those of the oral cavity, pharynx (other than nasopharynx), larynx, and esophagus. Tobacco smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages are established causes of UADT cancers, whereas reduced intake of vegetables and fruits are likely causes. The role of genetic predisposition and possible interactions of genetic with exogenous factors, however, have not been adequately studied. Moreover, the role of pattern of smoking and drinking, as well as the exact nature of the implicated dietary variables, has not been clarified. To address these issues, the International Agency for Research on Cancer initiated in 2002 the alcohol-related cancers and genetic susceptibility (ARCAGE) in Europe project, with the participation of 15 centers in 11 European countries. Information and biological data from a total of 2304 cases and 2227 controls have been collected and will be used in a series of analyses. A total of 166 single nucleotide polymorphisms of 76 genes are being studied for genetic associations with UADT cancers. We report here the methodology of the ARCAGE project, main demographic and lifestyle characteristics of the cases and controls, as well as the distribution of cases by histology and subsite. About 80% of cases were males and fewer than 20% of all cases occurred before the age of 50 years. Overall, the most common subsite was larynx, followed by oral cavity, oropharynx, esophagus and hypopharynx. Close to 90% of UADT cancers were squamous cell carcinomas. A clear preponderance of smokers and alcohol drinkers among UADT cases compared with controls was observed.

aDepartment of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece

bBremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, Bremen, Germany

cINSERM, U794, Fondation Jean Dausset-CEPH, Paris

dCNRS FRE2939, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif

eInternational Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France

fCancer Registry, Geneva, Switzerland

gInstitute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Prague, Czech Republic

hUnit of Cancer Epidemiology, CeRMS and University of Turin

iAviano Cancer Center, Aviano

jGeneral Hospital of Pordenone, Pordenone

kUniversita degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy

lCancer Registry of Norway, Oslo, Norway

mInstitut Català d'Oncologia (ICO), CIBERESP, IDIBELL Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

nUniversity of Aberdeen, Aberdeen

oUniversity of Newcastle Dental School, Newcastle

pUniversity of Glasgow Medical Faculty, Dental School, Glasgow

qNHS NSS ISD, Edinburgh, Scotland

rCentre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Leeds, UK

sCroatian National Cancer Registry, Zagreb, Croatia

tTrinity College School of Dental Science, Dublin, Ireland

uUniversity of Tartu, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology

vEstonian Biocentre

wUniversity of Tartu, Estonian Genome Project, Tartu, Estonia

Correspondence to Dr Paul J. Brennan, PhD, Genetic Epidemiology Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France

Tel: +33 4 72 73 8391; fax: +33 4 72 73 83 42; e-mail:

Received 22 May 2008 Accepted 27 May 2008

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.