Study design of the CANUPIS study?

The CANUPIS study is a nationwide longitudinal study (a so-called cohort study) which includes all children born between 1985 and 2007 in Switzerland. Lifetime history of residence will be compared between children who developed cancer and all other children in Switzerland. The study will thus determine if children living near nuclear power plants have an increased risk of cancer compared to those living further away. 

Data on children with cancer come from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, which contains information on all children diagnosed with cancer in Switzerland since 1976. In total, 2’957 children born between 1985 and 2007 were diagnosed with cancer, including 981 leukemia cases.

Data on places of residence of all children born between 1985 and 2007 in Switzerland come from the “Swiss National Cohort”. This is an anonymous dataset including the entire population of Switzerland, containing information from the census 1990, the census 2000 and other routine data sources.

The CANUPIS study will use accurate information on place of residence, including geo-coded information on the exact place of the child’s home rather than information only on the town or village. Furthermore the CANUPIS study will not only consider the place of residence at the time of the diagnosis of the cancer. Rather, if the family has moved, all places of residence since birth will be included in the study. The study will thus be able to examine the importance of exposures that occurred very early in childhood. Another strength of the CANUPIS study is that it will consider other environmental exposures which might be associated with an increased risk of cancer,  such as high voltage power lines and industrial zones. These factors may confound the association with living in the vicinity of nuclear power plants. For these reasons, the CANUPIS study is not a replication of the German study, but an independent study using a different design.

An external advisory board consisting of internationally renowned experts from six countries guarantees the scientific quality and the independence of the CANUPIS study (see advisory board).