This group’s work focuses on epidemiology of cancers and, more specifically, on the epidemiology of the effects of ionising radiation; the long-term iatrogenic effects of treatment of cancer and the outlook for patients treated for cancer or tumours.
For several years, the group has been setting up and following cohorts of subjects exposed to very variable doses of ionising radiation. These include cohort ANGIO (a cohort of children treated with radiotherapy for haemangioma), cohort TOMENF (a cohort of children exposed to CT scans), VENUS (a cohort of patients treated for thyroid cancer), SURVSEIN (a cohort of women treated for breast cancer), TRAVNUCL (a cohort of employees of companies contracted to the French nuclear industry). The team is also involved in case-control studies: on the risk of thyroid cancer in Cuba, on thyroid cancer in French Polynesia and on risk factors for differentiated thyroid cancer in young subjects in Eastern France The group’s main cohort is that of the French Childhood Cancer Survivors Study (FCCSS), a national cohort of 20,000 subjects treated before the year 2000 for childhood cancer. The FCCSS is the continuation of the French contingent of the EURO2K historic cohort and is a component of the Hope-épi (Programme of Investment in the Future) project. The role of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on the outlook for children treated for solid tumours is explored by sending a self-administered questionnaire, the establishment of follow-up visits and estimation of the doses administered during radiotherapy both within and at a distance from the irradiation fields. BIOF is the biological tissue bank which consists of samples of saliva and blood taken from survivors in the FCCSS. The BIOF is to be used for a study of the genetic factors which might predispose to the development of iatrogenic disease in some patients treated for childhood cancer because of their increased susceptibility to anti-cancer therapies. In parallel, the group is developing software to be used to simulate radiotherapy and estimate the doses administered during this radiotherapy both within and at a distance from the irradiation fields. The study of the outcome for subjects treated for cancer, in particular in childhood, has become the principal research project of the team over the last five years. Prospects Our main short-term project is to complete work on the FCCSS national cohort of children cured of childhood cancer and its associated BIOF tissue bank. In addition, we are going to use data from the SNIIR-AM to continue to study the medical outcome in this cohort. We also intend to continue the analysis of the various cohorts we have established and to complete the work on the new specific software to estimate irradiation doses at a distance from external beam radiotherapy and validate it clinically.