Table 1.

Summary of main recommendations identified at the Inflammation and Cancer Epidemiology (ICE) Workshop sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, June 2014

Topic areaRecommendations
Epidemiologic studies and statistical considerations
  1. Studies using multiplex assays to measure inflammation markers should include discovery followed by replication studies so that reproducible findings can be identified.

  2. Studies should be designed and powered to control for multiple comparisons and, ultimately, for mediation analyses to understand whether inflammation explains established exposure–cancer associations.

  3. Studies should measure marker levels over time before the diagnosis of disease to help uncover the underlying mechanism(s) linking inflammation and cancer.

  4. Use of pathway-based analyses/approaches to interpret individual marker associations should be encouraged.

  5. Studies should be coordinated/integrated so that results can be directly compared.

  6. Efforts to translate findings to clinical use (e.g., risk stratification) will need to await completion of carefully conducted and replicated etiologic studies and will require additional standardization of assays targeting informative markers.

Laboratory testing methods
  1. Efforts should continue to develop new assays and to understand/refine existing ones to more reliably/broadly assay inflammation markers and more fully understand markers that are being measured.

  2. Efforts should be promoted to develop standards and establish a set of common practices to ensure that data derived from specific assays and laboratories are reliable/reproducible and to enable calibration of results across labs and testing platforms.

  3. Efforts should be made to incorporate new platforms/technologies into epidemiological studies, as they become available; such efforts will require bridging of new studies to previously completed work.

Epidemiology–immunology interface
  1. Interdisciplinary research should be encouraged and facilitated.

  2. Studies should consider measuring local (tissue) markers of inflammation.

  3. New, biological specimen intensive studies should be considered to more comprehensively evaluate the underlying mechanism(s) for the strongest and most consistent associations observed from epidemiological studies.