North American Pooled Project

The Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and Health and the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) case-control datasets are currently being pooled in order to evaluate associations between agricultural exposures and the risks of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma among Canadian and American men. This initiative, called the North American Pooled Project (NAPP), will provide an excellent opportunity to overcome some of the statistical challenges of previous studies, particularly the small number of cases that have limited the strength and consistency of associations.

By analyzing the pooled data, we will be able to assess the effects of exposure to specific pesticides and other agricultural factors in association with each of the cancer types. In addition, taking advantage of the larger sample size, we will evaluate interactions between multiple pesticides, assess other interaction hypotheses, and conduct analyses stratified by various exposures and cancer sub-types. We will control for confounders established in previous work and other factors that may warrant consideration.

These analyses will be a collaborative effort between the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) and the U.S. NCI. Support has been obtained from the original investigators and from the OCRC and the U.S. NCI to harmonize and analyze the data. Both the OCRC and U.S. NCI will equally contribute to data analysis and the development of manuscripts. The NAPP has received approval from the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board. Pooling of the data is anticipated to be completed in fall 2013, with analyses beginning in winter 2014. Stay tuned on the “announcements” page for updates!


Collaboration guidelines

To be developed


NAPP Executive Committee

The NAPP Executive Committee (EC) serves to direct all aspects of the NAPP. The EC:

  • Develops procedures for data pooling and requests for data transfer/sharing (including approvals);
  • Reviews research proposals prior to the conduct of analyses;
  • Advises upon and approves the methods and venues to publish and disseminate research findings from the NAPP. This may include reviewing abstracts, manuscripts, and posters.

The EC is comprised of Laura Beane-Freeman (U.S. NCI), Shelley Harris (OCRC), and John Spinelli (Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and Health).


Research proposals

The NAPP Executive Committee is currently developing a protocol for reviewing proposals to analyze NAPP data. The protocol, along with approved research proposals, will be posted here in the future.


User manual 

To be developed


Pesticides workshop on May 27, 2013, Toronto

On May 27, 2013, Cancer Care Ontario and the OCRC hosted a workshop in Toronto. The objectives of this workshop were to identify research priorities using data available in the NAPP and to brainstorm potential inputs for a future knowledge translation and exchange strategy for the NAPP. This workshop was part of a knowledge dissemination grant funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Twenty-two participants attended the workshop with expertise in broad areas including cancer epidemiology, agricultural extension, pesticide exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, regulation, knowledge translation and exchange, and policy, and were from government and advocacy organizations, academia, industry, and extension. Workshop discussions were facilitated and a step-wise methodology was used to identify research priorities. Examples of knowledge dissemination in the field and industry perspectives on epidemiological research on pesticides were presented. Altogether, participants emerged with a greater understanding of the NAPP, a set of research priorities, a greater appreciation of how epidemiologic research is applied in different contexts, direction for a prospective knowledge translation strategy, and strengthened researcher-stakeholder partnerships. The workshop report is currently being reviewed by the NAPP research team and workshop participants. It will be posted here shortly.


Pooled project meeting on June 2, 2012, Vancouver

Several researchers from the NCI, OCRC, and Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and Health met during the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health Conference to discuss the pooled project. This is the first such conversation to take place and several ideas were exchanged regarding collaboration practices and priority analyses, summarized in this document and in the meeting minutes. Please note that this is only a preliminary draft document to get us started and is subject to change.