In September 2019, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Regional Health Agency asked Public Health France to investigate a suspected cluster of pediatric cancers in the Jura, reported by parents of sick children. In order to validate the spatio-temporal grouping, the method used consisted in finding retrospectively whether an excess of pediatric cancers was observed in a defined geographical area, compared to the cancer frequencies observed in metropolitan France. The analyzes were carried out for all cancers and for leukemia, the most frequent cancer in children. The investigation was carried out on 13 children under 15 years old and 4 over 15 years old at the time of the diagnosis established between the years 2010 and 2020 (including 7 leukaemias). An excess of “all cancers” cases and an excess of leukemia were highlighted in a group of municipalities made up of 3 living areas. An epidemiological study was conducted using a questionnaire with parents and an environmental inventory was carried out on known environmental risk factors. This study did not aim to find individual causes of each cancer but to find a common factor between children, specific to the geographical area, which could explain the clustering of cases. The investigations carried out did not identify any factor common to the sick children and the environmental inventory did not find any anomaly. In the absence of an etiological hypothesis, carrying out a specific environmental measurement campaign was not justified. Therefore, in the absence of an identified cause, the hypothesis of a punctual clustering of cases must be verified. Public Health France recommends maintaining monitoring of the frequency of pediatric cancers in the study area for several years to follow the evolution of the incidence of these diseases.
Author : Clinard François, Koczorowski Magali, Chêne Sonia, Marmorat Romain, Ciccardini Mariline, Terrien Élodie, Tessier Sabrina, Stoll Jeanine, Retel Olivier
Year of publication: 2022
Collection : Studies and surveys