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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

New Edition of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Book Published

Posted on November 28, 2017

Schottenfeld and Fraumeni 4th edition book cover

In November 2017, the Oxford University Press published the fourth edition of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention edited by Michael Thun, M.D, M.S. (lead editor) and DCEG senior investigator Martha Linet, M.D., M.P.H., James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., Christopher Haiman, Sc.D., and David Schottenfeld, M.D., M.Sc. (co-editors).

The new edition of this authoritative textbook features in-depth updates on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival trends; known and suspected causes of cancer; comprehensive assessment of the epidemiology of specific cancer outcomes; and implications of the rapidly growing knowledge about etiology for cancer prevention. An international group of nearly 200 authors contributed to 63 chapters during the two-year production process, including more than 40 current or former DCEG staff.

The textbook clearly describes the expansion of knowledge since the year 2000, and current research on cancer types and exposures. In addition to comprehensive chapters on 35 cancer outcomes, the book features a notable expansion on cancer prevention. The content also includes chapters on basic biology, molecular biomarkers, tumor genomics, genetic modifiers of environmental risks, social class disparities in incidence and mortality, obesity, physical activity, immunologic factors, endogenous and exogenous hormones, chemoprevention, electromagnetic fields, and radiofrequency radiation.

An important feature of this edition is the attention given to future directions in many areas of cancer research. For instance, the authors discuss the increasingly collaborative nature of science that comes with ever-more complex studies and datasets. They suggest areas, such as hormonal carcinogenesis, in which this interdisciplinarity might help uncover clues to cancer etiology. The authors also note the growing need for cancer survivorship research as the number of people who survive cancer continues to swell. Development of risk prediction models and studies of the microbiome are other areas that are highlighted in the new edition as crucial areas for future development. In addition, the authors emphasize epidemiologic strategies that are primed to have major impact on research, such as development of new cohorts, improved methods for exposure assessment, identification of new data sources to link more complete and accurate information about exposures and cancer outcomes, and collection of many types of biological samples and tumor tissue to evaluate biomarkers of exposure and effect and mechanisms of carcinogenesis.