Population-based, case-control-family design to investigate genetic and environmental influences on melanoma risk

Anne E. Cust, Helen Schmid, Judith A. Maskiell, Jodie Jetann, Megan Ferguson, Elizabeth A. Holland, Chantelle Agha-Hamilton, Mark A. Jenkins, John Kelly, Richard F. Kefford, Graham G. Giles, Bruce K. Armstrong, Joanne F. Aitken, John L. Hopper, Graham J. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Discovering and understanding genetic risk factors for melanoma and their interactions with phenotype, sun exposure, and other risk factors could lead to new strategies for melanoma control. This paper describes the Australian Melanoma Family Study, which uses a multicenter, population-based, case-control-family design. From 2001 to 2005, the authors recruited 1,164 probands including 629 cases with histopathologically confirmed, first-primary cutaneous melanoma diagnosed before age 40 years, 240 population-based controls frequency matched for age, and 295 spouse/friend controls. Information on lifetime sun exposure, phenotype, and residence history was collected for probands and nearly 4,000 living relatives. More than 3,000 subjects donated a blood sample. Proxy-reported information was collected for childhood sun exposure and deceased relatives. Important features of this study include the population-based, family-based design; a focus on early onset disease; probands from 3 major cities differing substantially in solar ultraviolet exposure and melanoma incidence; a population at high risk because of high ultraviolet exposure and susceptible pigmentation phenotypes; population-based, spouse/friend, and sibling controls; systematic recruitment of relatives of case and control probands; self and parent reports of childhood sun exposure; and objective clinical skin examinations. The authors discuss methodological and analytical issues related to the study design and conduct, as well as the potentially novel insights the study can deliver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541-1554
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume170
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

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