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Socio Medical Science

The UMR912 SESSTIM directed by Jean-Paul Moatti includes 3 research teams:

  1. Team Claire Julian-Reynier “Cancer, Biomedicine and Society” (CAN-BIOS)
  2. Team Fred Eboko and Bruno Spire “Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Society
  3. Team Bruno Ventelou “Economical Issues of Health and Ageing

UMR 912 SESSTIM at IPC work on social and economical science, as well as psychological and social epidemiology of cancer, aging and infectious diseases. These teams aim to analyze the causes and the consequences on public health and society of the increase in the risk of developing a chronic illness, and to set up an integrated approach of the social, psychological and economical aspects of public health issues.

The CAN-BIOS team consists of 18 people and is structured around medical, economic and psycho-social issues associated with the development and clinical diffusion of knowledge in biomedicine and predictive oncology. Three axes of research are developed; the first one is focused on cancer prevention and prediction, the second one is about the issues at stake in the new forms of medical treatments based on the tumour’s specific characteristics such as pharmaco-genomic treatments (personalized medicine), and the third theme is organised around the study of the issues related to effectiveness of therapies and increase in survival rates. Each theme involves combined methodological approaches in epidemiology/biostatistics or economy/sociology/psychology through qualitative/quantitative designs. They include the follow-up of cohorts of ‘at risk’ or ‘cancer’ patients (Genepso – Elippses) and cross-sectional national or international surveys. The topics studied will lead to collaborations with other teams of the UMR 912 for population approaches, in particular to investigate:

  1. social inequities regarding cancer,
  2. cancer prevention interventions on major risk factors at a national level and
  3. a study of cancer in “southern” countries.

Regarding the first theme, “cancer prevention and prediction”, projects are under way to explore environmental effects on cancer incidence, projects aimed at improving the prevention of primary or secondary cancers.  Regarding the theme of “new forms of medical treatments”, pioneer studies have been conducted and further projects are under way to evaluate the medical value as well as the psychological and the economical implications of personalized medicine based on information about the patients’ genome and on the specific characteristics of their tumour(s). Research programs on alternative medicine as possible complements to standard treatments are also being considered. Regarding the theme of “the issues related to the effectiveness of therapies and to the increase in survival rates”, projects are developed that address post-cancer issues, such as the patients’ return to work, the effect of cancer on small businesses in self-employed workers, methods to assess the level of risk of developing a secondary cancer and design of specific screening procedures.

UMR 912 SESSTIM is supported by Inserm, by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and by AMU.

It has established long term local collaborations with the Institut d’Economie Publique (IDEP) and the Observatoire Régional de la Santé (ORS-PACA) on the one hand, and international collaborations on the other hand (e.g. with the World Bank, WHO, UNAIDS, Harvard, Columbia and New York Universities).