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Methodological Innovations Teams
Biostatistics and Data Integration Team (BDI)

Starting date: January 2021

Work Programme

The Biostatistics and Data Integration Team (BDI):

  • leads the development and application of biostatistical and bioinformatic methods for the analysis and integration of lifestyle and molecular data in cancer epidemiology studies;
  • provides statistical support for research conducted within NME; and
  • oversees the management and sharing of epidemiological data within the EPIC cohort and other NME studies.

Specific current projects include research on:

  • the development of statistical methods for the analysis of metabolomics data, including the definition of procedures for data pre-processing and normalization;
  • biomarker discovery using untargeted metabolomics data;
  • the identification of -omics signatures of lifestyle factors and their relationship with cancer;
  • lifestyle factors and cancer risk, including the definition of healthy lifestyle scores and the analysis of longitudinal data to investigate the impact of adopting healthy choices during adulthood; and
  • mediation analysis to investigate possible mechanisms underlying the carcinogenic effect of established cancer risk factors.

BDI also leads a major research programme on alcohol and cancer, with a focus on cancer sites with a non-established relationship with alcohol consumption, on mechanisms underlying the alcohol–cancer link, and on the evaluation of alcohol intake throughout the life-course and cancer risk.

Team Composition

Team Leaders: Dr Vivian Viallon and Dr Pietro Ferrari (Acting Branch Head), Nutrition and Metabolism Branch (NME), IARC
Emails: ViallonV@iarc.fr; FerrariP@iarc.fr

Team members:
Ms Carine Biessy (Statistical Assistant, NME)
Ms Marie Breeur (Doctoral Student, NME)
Ms Corinne Casagrande (Data Manager, NME)
Dr Niki Dimou (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Heinz Freisling (Scientist, NME)
Mr Quan Gan (Doctoral Student, NME)
Mr Bertrand Hemon (Data Manager, NME)
Dr Komodo Matta (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Dr Sabine Naudin (Postdoctoral Scientist, NME)
Ms Karina Zaluski (Secretary, NME)

Key networks: European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), UK Biobank (UKB), National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cohort Consortium

Key funding: Institut national du Cancer (INCa), Ligue nationale contre le Cancer (LNCC), United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)

Key publications

  1. Botteri E, Peveri G, Berstad P, Bagnardi V, Chen SLF, Sandanger TM, et al. (2022). Changes in Lifestyle and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition. Am J Gastroenterol. 2022 Dec 2. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000002065 PMID: 36227801
  2. Mayén AL, Viallon V, Botteri E, Proust-Lima C, Bagnardi V, Batista V, et al. (2022). A longitudinal evaluation of alcohol intake throughout adulthood and colorectal cancer risk. Eur J Epidemiol. 2022 Sep;37(9):915-929. doi: 10.1007/s10654-022-00900-6. Epub 2022 Sep 5. PMID: 36063305
  3. Breeur M, Ferrari P, Dossus L, Jenab M, Johansson M, Rinaldi S, et al. (2022). Pan-cancer analysis of pre-diagnostic blood metabolite concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. BMC Med. 2022 Oct 19;20(1):351. doi: 10.1186/s12916-022-02553-4. PMID: 36258205
  4. Ballout N, Garcia C, Viallon V. (2021). Sparse estimation for case-control studies with multiple disease subtypes. Biostatistics. 2021 Oct 13;22(4):738-755. doi: 10.1093/biostatistics/kxz063. PMID: 31977036
  5. Loftfield E, Stepien M, Viallon V, Trijsburg L, Rothwell JA, Robinot N, et al. (2021). Novel biomarkers of habitual alcohol intake and associations with risk of pancreatic and liver cancers and liver disease mortality. J Natl Cancer Inst. 113(11):1542–50. https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab078 PMID:34010397
  6. Viallon V, His M, Rinaldi S, Breeur M, Gicquiau A, Hemon B, et al. (2021). A new pipeline for the normalization and pooling of metabolomics data. Metabolites. 11(9):631. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11090631 PMID:34564446
  7. Naudin S, Viallon V, Hashim D, Freisling H, Jenab M, Weiderpass E, et al. (2020). Healthy lifestyle and the risk of pancreatic cancer in the EPIC study. Eur J Epidemiol. 35(10):975–86. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-019-00559-6 PMID:31564045



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