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Division of Health Sociology

Seiichiro Yamamoto, Yuri Mizota, Michiyo Tada, Hiromi Koitabashi, Yoko Takahashi, Kumiko Toyoshima, Rika Nakamura, Akihiro Shimoda


The Division of Health Sociology was established in January 2016. Our division investigates the methods of distribution and dissemination of scientific evidence concerning cancer prevention, screening, and survivorship. The aim of the research is to fill the gap between the scientific evidence and the behavior of the people for cancer prevention, and screening by supporting local government, and directly approaching to the public. In addition, because of the lack of evidence, we try to establish scientific evidence for cancer survivorship.

As for the activity for establishing research infrastructure, we conduct methodological research and education concerning behavior science, epidemiology and biostatistics, and support large scale interventional studies.

Research concerning promotion of cancer prevention and screening using social marketing method

In order to increase the participation rate of cancer screening, we developed several client reminders of cancer screening such as leaflets, and supported local municipalities by conducting workshops and disseminates information from the website. As a result, a total of 160 municipalities in 36 prefectures used our materials. We evaluated the participation rate of cancer screening for municipalities that used our materials last year and most of them obtained increased participation rates. We are also developing materials for the promotion of participation in the HCV testing and smoking cessation using a social marketing approach.

Research for cancer survivorship

A large cohort is being established for breast cancer patients to investigate the effect of lifestyle and psychosocial factors on their QOL and prognosis. The cohort consists of several sub-cohorts including collaborative cohorts of clinical trials, a cohort in the National Cancer Center, and a collaborative cohort with the Setouchi Breast Cancer Registry. As of December 2016, we recruited more than 800 breast cancer patients within the year and 5,610 patients in total. The cohort became one of the largest patient cohorts in the world. We also started the patient cohort for the same objectives for colon and rectal cancer in December 2015. We recruited 297 patients this year (318 in total).

Education of staffs involved in clinical research

We developed an e-learning website, ICRweb (http://icrweb.jp), for education of the staff involved in clinical research such as researchers, data managers, clinical research coordinators, and members in the institutional review boards. As of December 2016, more than 14,000 new users were registered within the year, and more than 63,000 users were registered in total. ICRweb provided 21 new contents this year and more than 190 contents are available in total. In order to achieve sustainable development, we are now developing the system where the site will charge a nominal fee for users and user institutions.

Future prospects

Our focus is not only on prevention and screening, but also on treatment and survivorship. We will keep these activities for all people suffering from cancer to reduce their suffer as much as possible.

List of papers published in 2016


1.Ohuchi N, Suzuki A, Sobue T, Kawai M, Yamamoto S, Zheng Y-F, Shiono YN, Saito H, Kuriyama S, Tohno E, Endo T, Fukao A, Tsuji I, Yamaguchi T, Ohashi Y, Fukuda M, Ishida T. Sensitivity and specificity of mammography and adjunctive ultrasonography to screen for breast cancer in the Japan Strategic Anti-cancer Randomized Trial (J-START): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 387:341-348, 2016

2.Sekiguchi M, Igarashi A, Matsuda T, Matsumoto M, Sakamoto T, Nakajima T, Kakugawa Y, Yamamoto S, Saito H, Saito Y. Optimal use of colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical test for population-based colorectal cancer screening: a cost-effectiveness analysis using Japanese data. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 46:116-125, 2016

3.Ohuchi N, Suzuki A, Yamamoto S, Kuriyama S, Ishida T. Adjunctive ultrasonography for breast cancer screening - Authors' reply. Lancet, 387:2381-2382, 2016

4.Hirai K, Ishikawa Y, Fukuyoshi J, Yonekura A, Harada K, Shibuya D, Yamamoto S, Mizota Y, Hamashima C, Saito H. Tailored message interventions versus typical messages for increasing participation in colorectal cancer screening among a non-adherent population: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 16:431, 2016