EPIC Working Groups - Cancer Working Groups

The Gastric and Oesophageal Cancer Working Group

Worldwide, gastric cancer is the fourth and oesophageal cancer the eighth most frequent cancer, while gastric cancer is the second and oesophageal cancer the sixth most common cause of cancer death. During the first 10 years of the Working Group, its activity has been focused mainly on gastric cancer due to the fact that the number of cases of oesophageal cancer is still relatively low.

A multifactorial and multistep model of gastric cancer is currently accepted, according to which different environmental and genetic factors are involved at different stages in the cancer process. These gene—environment interactions could explain the high variation in gastric cancer incidence observed around the world. Therefore, the major activities within the Working Group involve evaluation of the role of environmental factors, such as Helicobacter pylori infection, dietary and nutrient intake, circulating levels of nutrients and vitamins, alcohol consumption, and smoking, as well as genetic factors involved in the inflammatory response, metabolism of chemical compounds, DNA damage repair, and gene—environment interaction, mainly in relation to iron and vitamin C status and alcohol consumption. Given that the 5-year survival rates for gastric and oesophageal cancer are very low, the identification and control of risk factors represent the most effective way of reducing the burden of these tumours. EPIC is collaborating also with international studies on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) analysis and Epstein-Barr virus.


Selected publications:

  1. Agudo A et al. Hemocromatosis (HFE) gene mutations and risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Carcinogenesis. 2013 Jun;34(6):1244-50. PMID: 23389292

  2. Duell EJ et al. Genetic variation in alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1A, ADH1B, ADH1C, ADH7) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Feb;33(2):361-7. PMID: 22144473

  3. Sala N et al. Prostate stem-cell antigen gene is associated with diffuse and intestinal gastric cancer in Caucasians: results from the EPIC-EURGAST study. Int J Cancer. 2012 May 15;130(10):2417-27 . PMID: 21681742

  4. Buckland G et al. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;91(2):381-90. PMID: 20007304

  5. González CA et al. Meat intake and risk of stomach and esophageal adenocarcinoma within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Mar 1;98(5):345-54. PMID: 16507831

  6. Jenab M et al. Plasma and dietary vitamin C and risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-EUROGAST) study. Carcinogenesis 2006 Nov;27(11):2250-7. PMID: 16774936

  7. Jakszyn P et al. Endogenous versus exogenous exposure to N-nitroso compounds and risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-EUROGAST) study. Carcinogenesis 2006 Jul;27(7):1497-501. PMID: 16571648

Contact details/Working Group leader

Carlos A. González, MD, PhD
Chief Unit of Nutrition, Environment and Cancer
Cancer Epidemiology Research Programme
Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)
Barcelona, Spain