Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 437–447 | Cite as

Occupational risks for uveal melanoma results from a case-control study in nine European countries

  • Jean-Michel Lutz
  • Ian Cree
  • Svend Sabroe
  • Tine Kajsa Kvist
  • Lene Bjørk Clausen
  • Noemia Afonso
  • Wolfgang Ahrens
  • Terri J. Ballard
  • Janine Bell
  • Diane Cyr
  • Mikael Eriksson
  • Joëlle Févotte
  • Pascal Guénel
  • Lennart Hardell
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
  • Ana Miranda
  • Franco Merletti
  • Maria M. Morales-Suarez-Varela
  • Aivars Stengrevics
  • Elsebeth Lynge


Objective Uveal melanoma is a rare disease with poor prognosis and largely unknown etiology. We studied potential occupational risk factors.

Methods A population based case-control study was undertaken during 1995–1997 in nine European countries using population and colon cancer controls with personal interviews. Occupational exposure to sunlight and artificial UV radiation was assessed with a job exposure matrix. In total, 320 uveal melanoma cases were eligible at pathology review, and 292 cases were interviewed, participation 91%. Out of 3357 population controls, 2062 were interviewed, 61%, and out of 1272 cancer controls 1094 were interviewed, 86%.

Results Using population controls, occupational exposure to sunlight was not associated with an increased risk (RR=1.24, 95% CI=0.88−1.74), while an excess risk found with use of colon cancer controls was attributed to confounding factors. An excess risk in welders was restricted to the French part of the data. Cooks, RR=2.40; cleaners, RR 2.15; and laundry workers, RR=3.14, were at increased risk of uveal melanoma.

Conclusion Our study does overall not support an association between occupational sunlight exposure and risk of uveal melanoma. The finding of an excess risk of eye melanoma in cooks in several European countries is intriguing.


case-control study eye Malignant melanoma 



Confidence interval


International classification of diseases for oncology


International Standard Classification of Occupation


Job exposure matrix


Not otherwise specified


Not relevant


Observed number of cases


Relative risk


United Kingdom


United States


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Raivio, I 1977Uveal melanoma in Finland. an epidemiological, clinical, histological and prognostic studyActa Ophtalmol133164Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ferlay, J, Black, RJ, Whelan, SL, Parkin, DM 1997CI5VII: Electronic database of Cancer Incidence in Five ContinentsInternational Agency for Research on CancerLyonGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Inskip, PD, Devesa, SS, Fraumeni, JF,Jr 2003Trends in the incidence of ocular melanoma in the Unites States, 1974–1998Cancer Causes Control14251257PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    European Network of Cancer Registries1995EUROCIM User Manual2International Agency for Research on CancerLyonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cree, IA 2002Cell cycle and melanoma – two different tumours from the same cell typeJ Pathol191120126Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shields, JA, Shields, CL 1993Current management of posterior uveal melanomaMayo Clin Proc6811931200Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Isager, P 2004Ocular malignant melanoma. Epidemiology and clinical aspectsUniversity of AarhusÅrhusPhD ThesisGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gallagher, RP, Elwood, JM, Rootman, J,  et al. 1985Risk factors for ocular melanoma: Western Canada melanoma studyJ Natl Cancer Inst74775778PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tucker, MA, Shields, JA, Hartge, P, Augsburger, J, Hoover, RN, Fraumeni, JF,Jr 1985Sunlight exposure as risk factor for intraocular malignant melanomaN Engl J Med3131789792Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Holly, EA, Aston, DA, Char, DH, Kristiansen, JJ, Ahn, DK 1990Uveal melanoma in relation to ultraviolet light exposure and host factorsCancer Res5057735777PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Seddon, JM, Gragoudas, ES, Glynn, RJ, Egan, KM, Albert, DM, Blitzer, PH 1990Host factors, UV radiation, and risk of uveal melanomaArch Ophthalmol10812741280PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stang, A, Anastassiou, G, Ahrens, W, Bromen, K, Bornfeld, N, Jöckel, K-H 2001The possible role of radiofrequency radiation in development of uveal melanomaEpidemiol12712Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bataille, V, Sasieni, P, Cuzick, J, Hunderford, JL, Swerdlow, A 1995Risk of ocular melanoma in relation to cutaneous and iris naeviInt J Cancer60622626PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hees, CLM, Boer, A, Jager, MJ,  et al. 1994Are atypical naevi a risk factor for uveal melanoma? A case-control studyJ Invest Dermatol103202205PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vajdic, CM, Kricker, A, Giblin, M,  et al. 2002Sun exposure predicts risk of ocular melanoma in AustraliaInt J Cancer101175182PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Saftlas, AF, Blair, A, Cantor, KP, Hanrahan, L, Anderson, HA 1987Cancer and other causes of death among Wisconsin farmersAm J Ind Med11119129PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gallagher, RP 1998Ocular melanoma in farmersAm J Ind Med13523525Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Keller, JE, Howe, HL 1994Case-control studies of cancer in Illinois farmers using data from the Illinois State Cancer Registry and the US Census of AgricultureEur J Cancer30A469473PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Holly, EA, Aston, DA, Ahn, DK, Smith, AH 1996Intraocular melanoma linked to occupational and chemical exposureEpidemiology75561PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Vågerö, D, Swerdlow, AJ, Beral, V 1990Occupation and malignant melenoma: a study based on cancer registration data in England and Wales and in SwedenBr J Ind Med47317324PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Guénel, P, Laforest, L, Cyr, D,  et al. 2001Occupational risk factors, ultraviolet radiation and ocular melanoma: a case-control study in FranceCancer Causes Control12451459PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Håkansson, N, Floderus, B, Gustavsson, P, Feychting, M, Hallin, N 2001Occupational sunlight exposure and cancer incidence among Swedish construction workersEpidemiololy12552557Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    World Health Organisation1976International Classification of Diseases for Oncology1World Health OrganisationGenevaGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kaerlev, L, Teglbjerg, PS, Sabroe, S,  et al. 2000Occupation and small bowel adenocarcinoma: a European case-control studyOccup Environ Med57760766PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Suarez-Varela, MM, Olsen, J, Kaerlev, L,  et al. 2001Are alcohol intake and smoking associated with mycosis fungoides? a European multicentre case-control studyEur J Cancer37392397PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kolstad, H, Lynge, E, Olsen, J, Sabroe, S 1992Occupational causes of some rare cancers: a literature reviewScand J Soc Med48148Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    International Labour Organisation1968International standard classification of occupationsInternational Labour OrganisationGenevaGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    SPSS Inc1998SPSS Data Entry Builder 1.0SPSS IncChicagoGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    SAS Institute Inc1999Release 8.2SAS InstituteCary, NCGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Oliveria, SA, Christos, PJ 1997The epidemiology of physical activity and cancerAnn N Y Acad Sci297990Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Monárrez-Espino, J, Stang, A, Bromen, K, Merzenich, H, Anastassiou, G, Jöckel, KH 2002Occupation as a risk factor for uveal␣melanoma in GermanyScand J Work Environ Health28270277PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Stang, A, Ahrens, W, Baumgardt-Elms, C,  et al. 2003Cooking and uveal melanoma: results from two german case-control studiesCancer Causes Control14377380PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Milham, S 1983Occupational mortality in Washington State 1950–1979US Dept Health Human ServicesCincinnatiGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Drever F, ed. (1995) Occupational Health Decennial Supplement. London: Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, Health and Safety Executive. Series DS no. 10, HMSO.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Siemiatycki, J 1991Risk Factors for Cancer in WorkplaceCRC PressBoca Raton, FLGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cordioli, G, Cuoghi, L, Solari, PL, Berrino, F, Crosignani, P, Riboli, E 1987Tumor mortality in a cohort of glass industry workersEpidemiol Prev301618(in Italian)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Wingren, G, Englander, V 1990Mortality and cancer morbidity in a cohort of Swedish glassworkersInt Arch Occup Environ Health62253257PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sankila, R, Karjalainen, S, Pukkala, E,  et al. 1990Cancer risk among glass factory workers: an excess of lung cancer?Scand J Work Environ Health47815818Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Pirastu, R, Bartoli, D, Battista, G,  et al. 1998Cancer mortality of art glass workers in Tuscany, ItalyScand J Work Environ Health24386391PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Andersen A, Barlow L, Engeland A, Kjærheim K, Lynge E, Pukkala E (1999) Work-related cancer in the Nordic countries. Scand J Work Environ Health 25 (Suppl 2).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Richter, ED, Berman, T, Ben.Michael, E, Laster, R, Westin, JB 2000Cancer in radar technicians exposed to radiofrequency/microwave radiation: sentinel episodesInt J Occup Environ Health6187193PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Michel Lutz
    • 1
  • Ian Cree
    • 2
  • Svend Sabroe
    • 3
  • Tine Kajsa Kvist
    • 4
  • Lene Bjørk Clausen
    • 4
  • Noemia Afonso
    • 5
  • Wolfgang Ahrens
    • 6
  • Terri J. Ballard
    • 7
  • Janine Bell
    • 8
  • Diane Cyr
    • 9
  • Mikael Eriksson
    • 10
  • Joëlle Févotte
    • 11
  • Pascal Guénel
    • 12
  • Lennart Hardell
    • 13
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
    • 14
  • Ana Miranda
    • 15
  • Franco Merletti
    • 16
  • Maria M. Morales-Suarez-Varela
    • 17
  • Aivars Stengrevics
    • 18
  • Elsebeth Lynge
    • 4
  1. 1.Registre Genevois des TumeursGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Queen Alexandra HospitalTranslational Oncology Research CentrePortsmouthUK
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Social MedicineUniversity of AarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenKøbenhavn NDenmark
  5. 5.Serviço de Bioestatística e Informática Médica, Al. Hernani MonteiroPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social MedicineBremenGermany
  7. 7.The Venetian Tumour RegistryPaduaItaly
  8. 8.Thames Cancer RegistryLondonUK
  9. 9.INSERM Unité 88Saint MauriceFrance
  10. 10.Department of OncologyUniversity HospitalLundSweden
  11. 11.Institut Universitaire de Médecine du TravailUniversité Claude BernardLyonFrance
  12. 12.INSERM Unité 170VillejuifFrance
  13. 13.Department of OncologyUniversity HospitalÖrebroSweden
  14. 14.Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and EpidemiologyUniversity Clinics of EssenGermany
  15. 15.Instituto Portuquès de Oncologia de Francisco GentilLisboaPortugal
  16. 16.Unit of Cancer EpidemiologyUniversity of Turin, CERMS and CPOPiemonteItaly
  17. 17.Unit of Public HealthValencia University, Dr. Peset University HospitalSpain
  18. 18.Latvia Cancer RegisterLatvia Oncology CentreRigaLatvia

Personalised recommendations