Quality Assurance

Management of Potential Conflicts of Interest

IARC is committed to ensuring and demonstrating the independence of all its research studies from the influence of vested interests. In this regard, IARC considers several questions in relation to potential conflicts of interest for all studies: do they exist, have they been declared, should they be publicly disclosed, and are they actionable?

For this study, IARC collaborates with the Scientific Research Institute of Occupational Health (SRIOH) of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Yekaterinburg Medical Research Center for Prophylaxis and Health Protection in Industrial Workers. These institutes are partially government-funded and are tasked with conducting research into occupational risk factors and diseases as well as providing clinical care to workers. Employees of SRIOH are recognized within Russia as leading experts on chrysotile and as such are called upon by the Ministry of Health to present their data and to provide technical guidance and recommendations based on their expertise. They are also required to represent the Russian government at various international meetings and forums. IARC is aware that some of the Russian study collaborators support and promote controlled use of chrysotile. IARC does not support this position.

All individual researchers of the study team (see below) have declared any potential conflicts of interest by completing the IARC Declaration of Interests forms, which will be updated annually, and in addition conflicts of interest are made public in connection with every publication from the study, as for instance in (1).

In summary, IARC recognizes that conflicts of interest exist, has disclosed them, and considers that the potential consequences are addressed through the measures implemented in the study design and its conduct (see Study Team and Oversight) and that sound scientific results can be obtained.

IARC remains committed to providing the most reliable, independent scientific evidence on which public health decisions can be based. IARC and WHO have released a joint statement that this study will supply important scientific information to better quantify the risk of cancers already known to be related to chrysotile as well as additional cancers suspected to be related to chrysotile (see Joint WHO-IARC Statement).

Reference:

  1. Schuz J, Schonfeld SJ, Kromhout H, Straif K, Kashansky SV, Kovalevskiy EV, et al. A retrospective cohort study of cancer mortality in employees of a Russian chrysotile asbestos mine and mills: study rationale and key features. Cancer Epidemiol 2013 Aug;37(4):440-5.