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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

9277176 - NORA Cancer Research Methods Team

Start Date: 9/30/2008
End Date: 10/1/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Paul Schulte
Phone: 513-533-8302
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: EID
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed


Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

Over the past decades, there have been major advances in understanding the molecular events leading to cancer. The Cancer Research Methods NORA Team has focused on methods and data needs that might close this gap, ranging from current data on industrial production and uses of chemicals to techniques for screening chemicals for potential carcinogenicity, to the predictive value of intermediate effect markers in occupational cohorts. An important goal is to be able to recognize potential carcinogens before occupational exposure manifests in excess cancer risk.


Over the past decades, there have been major advances in understanding the molecular events leading to cancer, but there is still a gap in utilizing this knowledge to prevent occupational cancer. The Cancer Research Methods Team is focusing on methods and data needs that might close this gap.

In FY08, the team will collaborate with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to identify data gaps in Category 2A, 2B and 3 substances. A meeting was held in Lyon, France, to identify the 20 most important substances to evaluate for data gaps and a strategy for the evaluation will be devised.

Subsequently during FY08, briefs will be developed for each of the 20 substances. A contract has been issued to IARC to conduct the planning meeting and manage the process leading to a joint final report with NIOSH.


The goal of this project is to increase the capacity for occupational cancer research. To achieve this goal, a number of objectives should be met. These include: development of priorities for which cancer research methods should be addressed and selection of the most important priorities for further action. Specific objectives include: (a) addressing data gaps pertaining to IARC Class 2A, 2B, and 3 carcinogens; (b) developing systematic approaches for cross-sectional studies (involving intermediate effect biomarkers) of occupational groups; and (c) developing a fellowship and training program for new occupational cancer investigators.

Mission Relevance

�Describe the problems or needs and why they are important to address.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cancer classification is a critical component of international cancer risk management. Some of the agents are classified at levels where there is incomplete data (IARC Category 2A, 2B, and 3). There is a need to identify the data gaps and provide recommendations for possible research to fill those gaps.

�Identify the surveillance system or information used to define the occupational safety or health need and design for your project.
The list of IARC 2A, 2B and 3 carcinogens was the basis for this project.

�Describe how the project will address the problems or needs stated above.
An international group of scientists was recruited to address 20 high volume or important agents. They reviewed the existing evidence for each specific carcinogen classification and identified gaps and made recommendations for further research.