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Open Access Study protocol

Epidemiological study of prostate cancer (EPICAP): a population-based case–control study in France

Florence Menegaux12*, Antoinette Anger12, Hasina Randrianasolo12, Claire Mulot34, Pierre Laurent-Puig34, François Iborra56, Jean-Pierre Bringer7, Benoit Leizour8, Rodolphe Thuret6, Pierre-Jean Lamy9, Xavier Rébillard8, Brigitte Trétarre10 and EPICAP Study Group

Author Affiliations

1 INSERM U1018, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), U1018, Environmental Epidemiology of Cancer Team, 16av. Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94807 Villejuif Cédex, France

2 Univ Paris-Sud, UMRS 1018, 16av. Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94807 Villejuif Cédex, France

3 INSERM U1147, Paris, France

4 Univ Paris Sorbonne Cité UMRS 775, Paris, France

5 Cabinet Urologie du Polygone, Montpellier, France

6 Service d’Urologie, Hôpital Lapeyronie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Montpellier, Montpellier, France

7 Polyclinique Saint Privat, Béziers, France

8 Service Urologie, Clinique Beau Soleil, Montpellier, France

9 Laboratoire de Biologie Spécialisée et Oncongénétique, Institut du Cancer de Montpellier, Montpellier, France

10 Registre des Tumeurs de l’Hérault, Montpellier, France

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:106  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-106

Published: 19 February 2014



Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in male in most Western countries, including France. Despite a significant morbidity and mortality to a lesser extent, the etiology of prostate cancer remains largely unknown. Indeed, the only well-established risk factors to date are age, ethnicity and a family history of prostate cancer. We present, here, the rationale and design of the EPIdemiological study of Prostate CAncer (EPICAP), a population-based case–control study specifically designed to investigate the role of environmental and genetic factors in prostate cancer. The EPICAP study will particularly focused on the role of circadian disruption, chronic inflammation, hormonal and metabolic factors in the occurrence of prostate cancer.


EPICAP is a population-based case–control study conducted in the département of Hérault in France. Eligible cases are all cases of prostate cancers newly diagnosed in 2012-2013 in men less than 75 years old and residing in the département of Hérault at the time of diagnosis. Controls are men of the same age as the cases and living in the département of Hérault, recruited in the general population.

The sample will include a total of 1000 incident cases of prostate cancer and 1000 population-based controls over a 3-year period (2012-2014).

The cases and controls are face-to-face interviewed using a standardized computed assisted questionnaire. The questions focus primarily on usual socio-demographic characteristics, personal and family medical history, lifestyle, leisure activities, residential and occupational history. Anthropometric measures and biological samples are also collected for cases and controls.


The EPICAP study aims to answer key questions in prostate cancer etiology: (1) role of circadian disruption through the study of working hours, chronotype and duration/quality of sleep, (2) role of chronic inflammation and anti-inflammatory drugs, (3) role of hormonal and metabolic factors through a detailed questionnaire, (4) role of individual genetic susceptibility of genes involved in biological pathways of interest. The EPICAP study will also allow us to study prognostic factors and tumor aggressiveness.

Taken together, the EPICAP study will provide a comprehensive framework to go further in the understanding of prostate cancer occurrence and its prognosis.