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Alcohol related cancers and genetic susceptibility in Europe

Contract number : QLK1-2001-00182
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 2.124.222
EC contribution : € 2.085.727
Starting date : 1/01/2002
Duration : 42 Months
Scientific Officer : Jürgen Lucas
Project website : not yet available
Dr Paul Brennan
International Agency for Research on Cancer
Unit of Environmental Cancer Epidemiology
150 Cours Albert-Thomas
69372 Lyon 08
Tel.: +33-4-72738391
Fax: +33-4-72738320
E-mail: brennan @

Each year there are approximately 80,000 cases and 40,000 deaths of cancer of the upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) in the 15 EU countries, making it the fourth most common cancer in the EU. The proposed study will recruit over 2500 cases of UADT cancers and a group of comparable controls in 9 centres of the EU. It will test specific hypotheses including genetic susceptibility to alcohol metabolisation, patterns of alcohol consumption and types of alcohol beverage, and dietary factors including low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Subsequently, it will investigate why some countries have incidence rates over 4 times greater than other countries. By incorporating information on genetic susceptibility, alcohol, dietary and other lifestyle patterns, the study will aim to identify individuals at a very high risk of developing UADT cancers.


The objectives will be to identify the reasons behind the wide differences in UADT cancers in Europe, including different genetic susceptibility to alcohol metabolisation, different genetic susceptibility to tobacco metabolisation and DNA damage, different patterns of alcohol consumption and types of alcoholic beverage, and interaction between high alcohol consumption and other agents including genetic factors, other dietary factors, and lifestyle factors.

(expected) Results and achievements

The study will critically test the relationship between alcohol consumption, diet and genetic susceptibility to UADT cancers, and assess the extent to which these factors may be used for identifying individuals at high risk of developing the disease. A database of all dietary information will be established as well as a biological bank of blood and serum samples.


The Victoria University of Manchester
Unit of Chronic Disease Epidemiology
The Medical School
Oxford Road
M13 9PT Manchester
United Kingdom
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
School of Dentistry
Department of Child Dental Health
Framlington Place
NE2 4BW Newcastle-upon-Tyne
United Kingdom
Common Services Agency for the National Health Service in Scotland
Information and Statistics Division
Trinity Park House
South Trinity Road
KH5 3SQ Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Servei d'Epidemiologia i Registre del Càncer
Institut Català d'Oncologia
Gran Via S/N, Km 2.7
08907 L'Hospitalitet de Llobregat
Centro di Riferimento Oncologico
Istituto Nazionale Tumori
Epidemiology Unit
Via Pedemontana, 12
33081 Aviano
Dept of Oral Surgery, Medicine and Pathology
Trinity College School of Dental Science
Lincoln Place 27-28
2 Dublin
University of Bremen
Bremer Institut für Präventionsforschung, Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie
Linzer Straße 8-10
28359 Bremen
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
School of Medicine
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology
Mikras Asias 75
115 27 Athens
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale
Institut Gustave Roussy
39 Rue Camille Desmoulins
94805 Villejuif
Charles University of Prague
First Faculty of Medicine
Institute of Hygiene & Epidemiology
Studnickova 7
128 00 Prague
Czech Republic
Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research
0310 Oslo
University of Turin
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology
Cancer Epidemiology Unit
Via Santena 7
10126 Torino
Estonian Biocentre
Laboratory of Gene Technology
23 Riia St.
51010 Tartu
Università degli Studi di Padova
Dipartimento di Scienze Oncologiche e Chirurgiche
via Gattamelata 64
35128 Padova

Fifth Framework Programme

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