Water And Soil contamination and Awareness on Breast cancer risk in Young women (WASABY) – Spatial analysis
Catalonia (AECS) - University of Girona (UdG), Girona
Research Group on Statistics, Econometrics and Health (GRECS) - Carrer de la Universitat de Girona 10 Campus de Montilivi, 17003 Girona, Spain
Prof. Dr. Marc Saez
Prof. Dr. Marc Saez
English and Spanish
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project without Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Breast cancer is a neo-plastic disease promoted by uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells in breast tissues, usually ducts and lobules. Worldwide, breast cancer is the second most common cancer and the most frequent cancer in the female population, with 1.67 million new cases estimated in 2012 (25% of all cancer cases). Breast cancer is also the first cancer type among women in more developed economies as well as in less developed ones. Although huge investments in biomedical research aimed to clarify causes of breast cancer, the etiological factors involved in this pathology are not fully understood and scientific debate is still controversial. A debatable issue regards connection of environmental pollutants and breast cancer risk. The WASABY Project has received funding from the Directorate General Santé under the European Commission 3rd Health Programme, Call PP-2-5-2016 on the dissemination of knowledge on breast cancer risk factors among young women in areas with higher-than-average breast cancer incidence in the EU due to water and soil environmental contamination.
What is the aim of the project?
To identify a Deprivation Index in countries participating in the study for the smallest possible geographical unit (depending on availability of census data) with the aim of including deprivation (assessed at aggregated level) as confounder in spatial analysis for breast cancer risk. A second aim is to create a network of experts across Europe, working on the estimate of socioeconomic deprivation and discussing on methodological issues Finally, to determine methodologies suitable to perform spatial analysis with cancer data, using breast cancer incidence as an example.
What techniques and methods are used?
1) Collection and sorting of data, with the focus on invasive cancers on patients below 50 years old. 2) Collection and computation of data to estimate Socio-Economic Status (SES) deprivation indexes for the smallest possible geographical unit. 3) Mapping of the breast cancer risk to identify areas with higher-than-regional average cancer incidence using specific geographic information system (GIS). The cases will be located using residence data obtained from the civil registration and stored via Excel Geocoding Tool. The spatial coordinates of all cases will be subsequently processed using the software ArcGis or Qgis. Incidence will be calculated, taking into consideration the density of population and including depravation as a potential confounder. It will be subsequently standardized through the SARAR model (Spatial AutoRegressive with additional AutoRegressive error structure). 4) An environmental pilot study, incorporating a literature review on water/soil environmental risk factors for breast cancer, will connect cancer registries with environmental protection agencies in the areas with identified increased cancer risk, with the aim of studying correlation between soil and water contamination and breast cancer risk.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will complete some different tasks: First of all, the student will collect some data using specific geographic information system (that will be taught when the student starts his/her internship). Later, the student will introduce some data in the SPSS database (which will be taught how to it works) Then, the student will look for some articles to complete the information of the study, the articles will change depending on the moment that the student will take place in the project. Once the information is collected, the student will help the researcher team to analyze the data and come up with the best hypothesis.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Statistics (seminars and statistical software), Geographic Information System (GIS)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster
- The student will prepare a scientific report
- The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic knowledge of statistics (mainly descriptive), use of some statistical program software (eg. SPSS, R, etc.).
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields
- Saez; M; Barceló; M.A; Martos; C; Saurina; C; Marcos-Gragera; R; Renart; G; Ocaña-Riola; R; Feja; C; Alcalá; T "Spatial variability in relative survival from female breast cancer." Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A-Statistics in Society 175 (2012): 107-134.
- Solans M; Fabrega A; Morea D; Auñon-Sanz C; Roncero JM; Blanco A; Kelleher N; Buch J; Saez M; Marcos-Gragera R "Population-based incidence of lymphoid neoplasms: twenty years of epidemiological data in the Girona province; Spain." Cancer Epidemiology 58 (2019): 8-11.