In late 2007, the IS Carlos III and the CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) signed a collaboration agreement for the development of a special research action on cancer following an agreement by the Council of Ministers of 11 October 2007. The CIBERESP undertook to develop and implement an operational plan for research in cancer epidemiology.
In 2008, 7 groups of CIBERESP launched a population-based multicase-control study (MCC-SPAIN) to evaluate the influence of environmental factors and their interaction with genetic factors in common tumours or tumours with peculiar epidemiological characteristics in our country, for which the environmental factors involved were not well investigated. At present, the MCC-Spain study includes 17 CIBERSP research groups.
The selected tumours are colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gastroesophageal cancer and prostate cancer. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) has been recently included in the study. Colorectal cancer was selected for its high incidence and mortality in both sexes. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and its prevention is a major problem of public health. Identified risk factors explain around 50% of the incidence of breast cancer and an even lower percentage refers to preventable factors. Prostate cancer was included for its frequency and its hormonal nature, sharing with breast cancer the etiological hypotheses of endocrine disruption. Gastroesophageal cancer was due to its characteristic geographic pattern and the environmental hypotheses suggested. CLL was selected later, in collaboration with the sequencing study of CLL cases included in the framework of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.
This study involves the recruitment of cases of various types of cancer compared with the same control group. Exposure information is collected by trained interviewers through face-to-face interviews using a structured electronic questionnaire, which includes detailed information on demographic factors, occupation, personal and family history, lifestyle and diet. Blood and other biological samples are collected and different types of biomarkers are used. Information from clinical records is abstracted for al patients. Population controls are selected at random from lists of people attending primary care health centres within the catchment areas of the hospitals where cases are recruited. Controls are interviewed at their primary care facility by the same interviewers as those contacting the cases, and at that time, biological samples are collected.
MCC-Spain study is funded by the CIBERESP and receives funding from the Health Research Fund (FIS) and other funding agencies in certain areas.