Epidemiology of cancer and environmental exposures – EPICENE

The team is the junction of two entities preexisting in the U 897: the Occupational and Environmental Health Team and the Cancer Axis.



Research in the field of the epidemiology of cancers and environmental health is impacted by two major issues: i) the necessity to take into account main factors explaining disparities in cancer diagnosis and survival such as screening, stage at diagnosis, socio-economic status, geographical location… ii) the importance of accurately defining environmental exposures to better quantify the risks. We will address these two crucial methodological issues in order to apply them for dedicated studies on environmental epidemiology of cancers.


Centre de recherche INSERM U1219
Université de Bordeaux – ISPED case 11
146 rue Léo-Saignat 33076 BORDEAUX cedex
Tél : +33 (0)5 57 57 95 31
Tél : +33 (0)5 57 57 12 34
Fax : +33 (0)5 57 57 47 33

  • Director : 


    Brief Biography

    Medical doctor specialized in biology (1993). After an MSc (Institut Pasteur, Paris) and a post-doctoral fellowship in transfusion (National Blood center, LR Salmi, in the environmental team at the University of Bordeaux), I gained her PhD in Epidemiology (2002). I obtained the French authorization to supervise research (HDR, University of Bordeaux) in 2006 and became a professor in Epidemiology in 2010. I head the cancer axis in the Inserm U897 unit since 2010 and the epidemiological axis in SIRIC Brio since 2012. I have published more than 100 articles and authored 9 book chapters.

    Research Interests

    Focus on assessing disparities in cancer outcomes (recurrence, survival) and predicting events in cancer through epidemiological studies (population-based studies, prognostic models, diagnostic tools). I’m responsible for the design and analysis of several clinical trials (drug, medical devices and public health interventions) and cohort studies (breast, colorectal cancer and sarcoma). I collaborate with geriatricians and oncologists on a number of projects focusing on elderly patients with cancer.


  • Co-director  : Isabelle Baldi

Contacts :

  • Sabrina Constant
  • Christel Dantas


Research areas 

Cancer events and Outcomes assessments.

The topic aims at understanding and measuring therapeutic progress and survival improvement. We will take into account the key elements: i) the several factors that explain the variations in care access and practices; ii) the use of standardized definition of clinical events and use of the appropriate statistical models for these events; iii) the focus on elderly people. Our objective is to provide reliable tools to measure cancer survival and to propose interventions.

Methods in environmental and occupational exposures assessment

The hallmark of our research is our ability to develop methods to measure individuals’ exposures over the lifetime. We have more specifically investigated exposures to pesticides and fibers/nanoparticles and we started to investigate exposure to electromagnetic fields. Our efforts will be directed towards improving the knowledge of environmental and occupational exposures combining i) field approach: ii) development of tools for indirect exposure assessment and iii) determination of the best exposure metrics to include in the statistical analysis

Environmental Etiology of Cancer

We will analyse the role of certain pollutants in the occurrence of some rare cancers for which the incidence trends, spatial and temporal variations or risks in some occupational groups suggest the role of environmental factors. But, since for very frequent cancers the role of environmental determinants frequently remains unclear, we will also direct our efforts to better understanding – for various types of cancer- who the vulnerable populations are and which characteristics of exposure may explain increases in cancer risk.

Main publications

  1. Bellera CA, Rainfray M, Mathoulin-Pélissier S et al. Screening older cancer patients: first evaluation of the G-8 geriatric screening tool. Ann Oncol 2013;23: 2166-72.
  2. Baldi I, Lebailly P, Bouvier G, Rondeau V, Bouchart V, Canal-Raffin M, Garrigou A. Levels and determinants of pesticide exposure in re-entry workers in vineyards: results of the PESTEXPO study. Environ Res 2014; 132:360-9
  3. Lacourt A, Gramond C, Rolland P, Ducamp S, Audignon S, Astoul P, Chamming’s S, Gilg Soit Ilg A, Rinaldo M, Raherison C, Galateau-Salle F, Imbernon E, Pairon JC, Goldberg M, Brochard P. Occupational and non-occupational attributable risk of asbestos exposure for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Thorax 2014;69(6):532-9.
  4. Coureau G, Bouvier G, Lebailly P, Fabbro-Peray P, Gruber A, Leffondre K, Loiseau H, Mathoulin-Pélissier S, Salamon R, Baldi I. Mobile phone use and brain tumors in the CERENAT study. Occup Environ Med 2014;71(7):514-22
  5. De Angelis R, Minicozzi P, Sant M, Dal Maso L, Brewster DH, Osca-Gelis G, Visser O, Maynadié M, Marcos-Gragera R, Troussard X, Agius D, Roazzi P, Meneghini E, Monnereau A; EUROCARE-5 Working Group. Survival variations by country and age for lymphoid and myeloid malignancies in Europe 2000-2007: Results of EUROCARE-5 population-based study. Eur J Cancer 2015: 51(15) : 2254–2268



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