Dr Elisabete Weiderpass, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), presented the 171st Cutter Lecture on Preventive Medicine at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The lecture was held online on 11 December 2020. Dr Weiderpass’s presentation was titled “Identification of carcinogenic hazards to humans: the IARC approach”.
Since 1912, the Cutter Lecture on Preventive Medicine has been one of the most respected institutionalized lectures in the fields of preventive medicine and epidemiology. The Cutter lectures are administered by the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health under the terms of the bequest from Dr John Clarence Cutter, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Previous presenters of Cutter Lectures have been some of the most distinguished public health scientists, researchers, and professionals, including the founders of modern epidemiology and Nobel Prize recipients.
Dr Weiderpass spoke about the IARC Monographs series and illustrated her lecture with a few examples of environmental factors that have been classified as carcinogenic hazards to humans. Since 1971, the IARC Monographs programme has evaluated more than 1000 agents, of which more than 500 have been identified as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, or possibly carcinogenic to humans. National and international health authorities and government agencies can use this information as a scientific basis for their actions to prevent exposure to potential environmental carcinogens.