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Esophageal Cancer in Northeastern Iran

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) ) Identifier:
First received: March 17, 2007
Last updated: November 11, 2014
Last verified: March 2014


-Esophageal cancer is the most common cancer in Iran s Golestan Province. Nutritional deficiencies, ethnicity and environmental exposures might contribute to the development of this disease.


-To better understand the cause of esophageal cancer in Golestan Province and to reduce its occurrence there.


-Adults from the Gonbad, Aq-Qala and Kalaleh districts of eastern Golestan Province in Iran.


  • The study is a collaboration between NIH, the Digestive Disease Research Center of Teheran University of Medical Sciences, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  • Participants complete a lifestyle questionnaire and food frequency questionnaire.
  • Samples of participants blood, urine, hair and toenail clippings are obtained.

Esophageal Cancer

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: The Golestan Cohort Study of Esophageal Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 50000
Study Start Date: March 2007
Detailed Description:

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer death worldwide, killing over 380,000 people each year. Over 80% of esophageal cancers occur in developing countries, where the great majority of cases are squamous cell carcinomas. Esophageal cancer is characterized by striking geographic variation in incidence. One remarkable high-risk area, called the Central Asian Esophageal Cancer Belt, stretches from the Caspian Sea across Central Asia to northern China and includes focal areas with recorded incidence rates greater than 100/10s/year in both genders. For the past 20 years, D CEG investigators have studied esophageal and gastric cancer in one of these extremely high-risk areas, Linxian, China, at the eastern end of the Belt. While these studies have discovered new risk factors for esophageal cancer in this region, they have produced an incomplete explanation of the etiology of this disease. Now we have the opportunity to perform similar studies in another of these extremely high-risk areas, Golestan Province, Iran, at the other end of the high-risk Belt. The people of Golestan, in northeastern Iran, are geographically, culturally and ethnically quite different from the people of Linxian, and they appear to be similar only in their extraordinarily high rates of esophageal cancer. Performing similar studies in these two exceptional populations will give us a better chance to identify important new modifiable risk factors for esophageal cancer in both places.

Our cohort study is a collaboration between the Digestive Disease Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (DDRC), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and DCEG. The study has recruited 50,000 adults in three administrative districts of eastern Golestan Province. Baseline assessments included lifestyle questionnaire, a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and collection of blood, hair, nails and urine. Follow up will includes active surveillance by a study team, aided by a comprehensive health network in the rural areas, a GI referral clinic in the largest town, and a provincial cancer registry. The main hypotheses include dietary hypotheses (low consumption of fruits and vegetables, high consumption of hot tea), exposure to potential carcinogens (tobacco, PAHs from non-tobacco sources), novel exposures (opium, animal contact), and genetic susceptibility. Some cross sectional and a few total mortality analyses have been completed. Annual follow-up is ongoing.


Ages Eligible for Study:   40 Years to 75 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
  • Ages 40 to 75

    • Patients with esophogeal cancer
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00450788

United States, Maryland
National Cancer Institute (NCI), 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Christian Abnet, Ph.D. National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  More Information

Responsible Party: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) ) Identifier: NCT00450788     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 999907120, 07-C-N120
Study First Received: March 17, 2007
Last Updated: November 11, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Environmental Risk Factors
Genetic Risk Factors
Genetic Polymorphisms
PAH Exposure
Esophageal Cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Esophageal Neoplasms
Digestive System Diseases
Digestive System Neoplasms
Esophageal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site processed this record on November 25, 2014