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Priorities for Development of Research Methods in Occupational Cancer


Ward, Elizabeth M.; Schulte, Paul A.; Bayard, Steve; Blair, Aaron; Brandt-Rauf, Paul; Butler, Mary Ann; Dankovic, David; Hubbs, Ann F.; Jones, Carol; & Karstadt, Myra, et al. (2003). Priorities for Development of Research Methods in Occupational Cancer. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(1), 1-12. PMCID: PMC1241299


Occupational cancer research methods was identified in 1996 as 1 of 21 priority research areas in the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). To implement NORA, teams of experts from various sectors were formed and given the charge to further define research needs and develop strategies to enhance or augment research in each priority area. This article is a product of that process. Focus on occupational cancer research methods is important both because occupational factors play a significant role in a number of cancers, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality, and also because occupational cohorts (because of higher exposure levels) often provide unique opportunities to evaluate health effects of environmental toxicants and understand the carcinogenic process in humans. Despite an explosion of new methods for cancer research in general, these have not been widely applied to occupational cancer research. In this article we identify needs and gaps in occupational cancer research methods in four broad areas: identification of occupational carcinogens, design of epidemiologic studies, risk assessment, and primary and secondary prevention. Progress in occupational cancer will require interdisciplinary research involving epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, and molecular biologists.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Environmental Health Perspectives


Ward, Elizabeth M.
Schulte, Paul A.
Bayard, Steve
Blair, Aaron
Brandt-Rauf, Paul
Butler, Mary Ann
Dankovic, David
Hubbs, Ann F.
Jones, Carol
Karstadt, Myra
Kedderis, Gregory L.
Melnick, Ronald
Redlich, Carrie A.
Rothman, Nathaniel
Savage, Russell E.
Sprinkler, Michael
Toraason, Mark
Weston, Ainsley
Olshan, Andrew F.
Stewart, Patricia A.
Zahm, Sheila Hoar