Research Sections

Section of IARC Monographs

The first step in cancer prevention is to identify the causes of cancer or to identify interventions that reduce the risk of cancer. National and international health agencies can then take action to prevent avoidable exposures to known, probable, and possible carcinogens and to implement cancer-preventive strategies. Individuals, too, can use this information to make better choices that will reduce their risk of cancer.

This Section produces the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans and the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention.

The IARC Monographs are a series of scientific reviews that identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of cancer. Sometimes called WHO′s “Encyclopaedia of Carcinogens”, the IARC Monographs have reviewed close to 1000 agents and have identified almost 500 known, probable, and possible carcinogens. The IARC Handbooks complement the IARC Monographs′ evaluations of carcinogenic hazards, providing evaluations of the cancer-preventive effects of chemopreventive agents and of primary and secondary interventions, using the same rigorous evaluation process as the IARC Monographs.

The Section also convenes scientific workshops on topics closely related to the science of cancer hazard identification and the evaluation of preventive interventions, and on topics in preparation for or follow-up of certain Monographs and Handbooks meetings.

The Section receives funding for the Monographs from the United States National Cancer Institute, the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the European Commission′s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. Recent Handbooks have been supported by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), the American Cancer Society, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.