ARC Foundation Call for Projects 2015 CANC AIR Prevention of cancers linked to exposure to air pollutants

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1 ARC Foundation Call for Projects 2015 CANC AIR Prevention of cancers linked to exposure to air pollutants Notice of call for projects 1- Background In 2012, it is estimated that 355,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in France. Yet we now think that between 30% and 40% of cancers can be avoided by changing individual behaviour, or by protection against certain infections and environmental exposures. Between 5% and 10% of cancers would be linked to environmental factors, whether they are geophysical or environmental pollution. In particular, the airborne environment, both outdoors and indoors, is a complex mixture of numerous substances, including carcinogens for which exposure levels can vary considerably. In particular, outdoor air pollution was classified in 2013 as carcinogenic for man by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and constitutes one of the leading environmental causes of death by cancer. The latest available data indicate particularly that 223,000 deaths from lung cancer every year around the world could be due to air pollution. Although air pollutants can come from natural sources, the main sources of outdoor pollution are associated with human activity (transport, electricity production, industrial and agricultural emissions, etc.). However, it is difficult to assess the precise consequences of this pollution on public health and particularly in terms of cancers. In France, indoor air quality is also a public health concern. It is estimated that a person spends an average of 85% of their time in closed environments, in which there are multiple pollutants and exposure sources (construction materials, furniture, decorating products, heating, cooking, cleaning and DIY products, pesticides, etc.). Finally it is worth noting that the impact of indoor air pollution has been estimated at 4,600 deaths from cancer per year in France. The consequences of outdoor and indoor air pollution are significant, both in human and financial cost. However, the impact of air pollutants on the occurrence of cancers in the general population remains badly described and it is therefore now necessary to give French research teams the resources to increase their efforts on these questions. In fact, while the link between outdoor air pollution and lung cancer is well established, the impact of air pollutants on the occurrence of other types of cancer (bladder, VADS, malign blood cancers, etc.) is still to be determined. The precise economic effects of air pollutants on cancer also remain to be assessed. For example, analysing and quantifying the costs associated with preventing cancers, or indeed treating patients with cancers attributable to air pollutants, require more investigation. ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 1

2 For this reason the ARC Foundation, as part of its scientific strategy, has decided to increase its support for research into preventing cancer by means of this call for projects ARC on the topic Prevention of cancers linked to exposure to air pollutants. The ARC Foundation also wishes to direct the skills of French research teams towards original, ambitious and innovative projects on complex questions relating to the links between air pollutants and the occurrence of cancers. 2- Objectives The objective of this call for projects is to support research into exposure modes and doses of outdoor and indoor air pollutants, to improve knowledge about the links between the airborne environment and the occurrence of cancers. The projects must provide reliable data to draw up general recommendations that will ultimately result in new public health measures. In this context, projects proposing an interventional approach will be particularly appreciated. 3- Scope and details of the call for projects Scope of the call for projects This call for projects covers the occurrence of cancers in man associated with exposure to air pollutants with the following properties: - Definite carcinogenic agents (group 1) or likely carcinogenic agents (group 2A), based on the IARC classification; (Projects relating to group 2B air pollutants may exceptionally be eligible if submitted with adequate documentation and justification to support their suitability for the objectives of this call for projects. Note that these projects will not take priority over projects relating to air pollutants in groups 1 and 2A.) - Sources of exposure to outdoor and/or indoor air; - Exposure risk by inhalation and/or skin contact. The scope of this call for projects excludes research relating to: - Radiation, except that emitted by substances present in the air (e.g. radon); - Uniquely occupational exposure (occupational exposure may be included if it forms part of a continuum of exposures or a range of exposures); - Projects relating to reducing smoking or intended to influence the prevalence of cancers linked to tobacco; - Projects limited to the development of new tools and/or methods (detectors, (bio)markers, toxicological or statistical tests, etc.). However, the development or validation of new tools and/or methods as a step of a project is possible. Projects proposed will only be concerned with the analysis and quantification of exposures to air pollutants, linked to cancer. In particular projects may: - Quantify the cancer risk attributable to exposure to air pollutants; - Evaluate exposure methods for the general population, or particular populations (geographical location, deprived or poor populations, etc.); - Model the links between exposure levels to air pollutants and their effects; - Be based on tools for quantifying existing exposures (detectors, (bio)markers, toxicological or statistical tests, etc.) or validate tools already developed; ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 2

3 - Specify the carcinogenic nature of air pollutants, linked to their exposure methods; - Identify the biological mechanisms responsible for the carcinogenicity of air pollutants, on condition that this analysis is associated with a study applied to populations. As examples, projects proposed may relate (but are not limited) to the following types of questions: - Multiple exposures, as long as at least one of the pollutants studied is included in the scope of the call for projects (co-exposures, 'cocktail' effect, cumulative risks, etc.); - Exposures to low doses, whether occasional or chronic; - Occasional exposures during critical exposure windows (in utero, growth, pregnancy, etc.); - Occasional exposures at a high dose; - Exposure of vulnerable groups (geographical location, deprived or poor populations, etc.); - Immediate and/or deferred effects of exposures, particularly using exposure and/or effect (bio)markers. Characteristics of the Call for Projects Special attention will be given to projects proposing a prospective approach. Furthermore, the ARC Foundation wishes to encourage interventional research in prevention. The ARC Foundation will be particularly pleased to receive research proposals to: - Evaluate and/or modify exposures to air pollutants; - Implement prevention and/or screening methods for exposures; - Evaluate the cost and/or efficacy of these methods. Projects must adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together several teams from different fields. In particular, they can include the following disciplines: epidemiology (populational, environmental, molecular, etc.), expology, geography, toxicology, biology, clinical, public health, human and social sciences, political sciences, economic sciences, law, sociology, psychology, etc. Biostatisticians and/or methodologists must be involved in projects and this aspect will be specifically considered when assessing projects. Targeted use of existing case-study cohorts and trials is encouraged. Where data specific to the project cannot be obtained using these tools, new observation systems can be set up, only if an analysis is associated with the project. 4- Eligibility criteria Eligibility criteria - Complete applications must be submitted online by the deadlines, to: - Unless specifically indicated, the project application must be drafted in English. - The project must fall within the field of this call for projects. - The application must be submitted in the name of a single project leader, who is to be the coordinator recognised by the participating teams and who undertakes to be fully engaged in setting up and following up the project (at least 30% of his/her research time). ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 3

4 - The project leader must hold a full, permanent post in a hospital, university or research establishment in France; failing this, the project leader must hold a temporary post covering the relevant grant period. - A single researcher or research team can only propose one project under this call for projects, but may be associated with several projects. - Projects must originate from at least a partnership between two teams. - Projects must involve a minimum of two different disciplines. - Each of the teams involved in the application must belong to a public research body (university, public science and technology research establishment or industrial and commercial establishment etc.) or a non-profit organisation (association, foundation etc.) or a public health institution. - At least one person involved in each team is to devote most (at least 50%) of his/her working time to the project. - A biostatistician and/or a methodologist must be involved. - Foreign partners may participate as long as they provide their own funding for the project. Applications not meeting the eligibility criteria will not be considered. 5- Assessment criteria Projects will be assessed as follows: the Scientific Board of the ARC Foundation, in the light of assessments made by an international ad hoc committee, will select applications and will send its recommendations to the ARC Foundation Board of Directors, which will approve finance. Critères d expertise - Clarity of objectives. - Originality of project. - Prospects for application, medium-term impact on current prevention practices, socioeconomic impact (if relevant). - How the project is positioned in the national and international context. - Multidisciplinary approach: complementary nature of the various teams involved in the project and the scientific added value of the project as organised. - Involvement of biostatisticians and methodologists, and quality of the statistical analysis and methodological approach. - Credibility of the timetable for achieving the results over the funding period. - Envisaged optimisation strategy. Every application is assessed under the confidentiality agreement and in compliance with the ARC Foundation's procedure for preventing and managing conflicts of interests. 6- Funding procedures The funding is granted for a period of 36, 48 or 60 months. The maximum amount that can be applied for is 1,000,000. ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 4

5 Expense types: - Operating (this includes software licences and fees and acquisition work in the field: travel costs involved in investigations etc.); - Equipment; - Subsistence costs (attending symposiums, conferences etc.); - Recruitment of post-doctorate researchers, PhD students, engineers, technicians, clinical research associates, investigators or other professionals for a period not exceeding the grant period. There are no restrictions on how the budget is allocated, particularly how much is set aside for funding personnel. Apart from exceptional circumstances (evidence must be provided), incidental expenses must not exceed 8% of the total. Note that the administrative body's expenses will not be paid by the ARC Foundation. 7- Timetable of the call for projects Launch of call for projects: 18 March 2015 Return of complete packages: 18 June 2015, midday Examination of projects by an international ad-hoc committee of the ARC Foundation: September 2015 Selection by the Scientific Board of the ARC Foundation: 29th September 2015 Decision by the Board of Directors of the ARC Foundation: November 2015 Notification of results: November Submission procedures The complete application package, including all items required for scientific and technical assessment of the project, must be put together in accordance with this notice and submitted online at: no later than 18 June 2015, midday Until the package has been validated, the applicant may revisit it as many times as desired, up to the closing date of the call for projects (18 June 2015). The application will only be accepted once confirmed by the applicant. When the online package is validated the computer system will generate an acknowledgement of receipt and send it to the applicant. N.B.: once validated, the package can no longer be amended. However, up to the date of the Scientific Board (29th September 2015), the applicant will be able to supplement the package, but only by adding the following documents: - Attachments: Signatures of the participating team leaders and/or persons in charge of the research facilities involved. N.B.: the application is admissible only if the required attachments have been uploaded. ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 5

6 - Appendices: Evolving publications: publications that have been accepted or given a favourable review (attach letter from publisher and acknowledgement of receipt); Change in administrative situation: concurrent funding obtained from another body. For any further information: Fondation ARC pour la recherche sur le cancer Direction Scientifique AAP CANC AIR 9, rue Guy Môquet VILLEJUIF Cedex ARC Foundation AAP 2015 CANC AIR 6

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