Next Article in Journal
Joint Effects of Smoking and Sedentary Lifestyle on Lung Function in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study Cohort
Previous Article in Journal
Resistance Markers and Genetic Diversity in Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Recovered from Nosocomial Bloodstream Infections
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1479-1499; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201479
Review

Cancer Cluster Investigations: Review of the Past and Proposals for the Future

1,†
, 2,3,4,†,* , 5,†
, 1,†
, 6,†
, 7,†
, 8,†
, 9,†
, 10,†
, 11,†
, 11,†
 and 12,13,†
Received: 27 November 2013; in revised form: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [228 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]
Abstract: Residential clusters of non-communicable diseases are a source of enduring public concern, and at times, controversy. Many clusters reported to public health agencies by concerned citizens are accompanied by expectations that investigations will uncover a cause of disease. While goals, methods and conclusions of cluster studies are debated in the scientific literature and popular press, investigations of reported residential clusters rarely provide definitive answers about disease etiology. Further, it is inherently difficult to study a cluster for diseases with complex etiology and long latency (e.g., most cancers). Regardless, cluster investigations remain an important function of local, state and federal public health agencies. Challenges limiting the ability of cluster investigations to uncover causes for disease include the need to consider long latency, low statistical power of most analyses, uncertain definitions of cluster boundaries and population of interest, and in- and out-migration. A multi-disciplinary Workshop was held to discuss innovative and/or under-explored approaches to investigate cancer clusters. Several potentially fruitful paths forward are described, including modern methods of reconstructing residential history, improved approaches to analyzing spatial data, improved utilization of electronic data sources, advances using biomarkers of carcinogenesis, novel concepts for grouping cases, investigations of infectious etiology of cancer, and “omics” approaches.
Keywords: cancer; cluster investigations; cancer biomarkers; case grouping; leukemia; exposome; infection cancer; cluster investigations; cancer biomarkers; case grouping; leukemia; exposome; infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Goodman, M.; LaKind, J.S.; Fagliano, J.A.; Lash, T.L.; Wiemels, J.L.; Winn, D.M.; Patel, C.; Eenwyk, J.V.; Kohler, B.A.; Schisterman, E.F.; Albert, P.; Mattison, D.R. Cancer Cluster Investigations: Review of the Past and Proposals for the Future. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1479-1499.

AMA Style

Goodman M, LaKind JS, Fagliano JA, Lash TL, Wiemels JL, Winn DM, Patel C, Eenwyk JV, Kohler BA, Schisterman EF, Albert P, Mattison DR. Cancer Cluster Investigations: Review of the Past and Proposals for the Future. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(2):1479-1499.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Goodman, Michael; LaKind, Judy S.; Fagliano, Jerald A.; Lash, Timothy L.; Wiemels, Joseph L.; Winn, Deborah M.; Patel, Chirag; Eenwyk, Juliet V.; Kohler, Betsy A.; Schisterman, Enrique F.; Albert, Paul; Mattison, Donald R. 2014. "Cancer Cluster Investigations: Review of the Past and Proposals for the Future." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 2: 1479-1499.


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert