Volume 100 compiles information on tumour sites and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. About half of the agents classified in Group 1 were last reviewed more than 20 years ago, before mechanistic studies became prominent in evaluations of carcinogenicity. In addition, more recent epidemiological studies and animal cancer bioassays have demonstrated that many cancer hazards reported in earlier studies were later observed in other organs or through different exposure scenarios.
Much can be learned by updating the assessments of agents that are known to cause cancer in humans. Accordingly, IARC has selected A Review of Human Carcinogens to be the topic for Volume 100. It is hoped that this volume, by compiling the knowledge accumulated through several decades of cancer research, will stimulate cancer prevention activities worldwide, and will be a valued resource for future research to identify other agents suspected of causing cancer in humans. Volume 100 was developed by six separate Working Groups: Pharmaceuticals; Biological agents; Metals, particles, and fibres; Radiation; Personal habits and household exposures; Chemical agents and related occupations.
Because the scope of Volume 100 is so broad, its Monographs are focused on key information. Each Monograph presents a description of a carcinogenic agent and how people are exposed, critical overviews of the epidemiological studies and animal cancer bioassays, and a concise review of the agent's toxicokinetics, plausible mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and potentially susceptible populations, and life-stages. Details of the design and results of individual epidemiological studies and animal cancer bioassays are summarized in tables. Short tables that highlight key results are printed in Volume 100, and more extensive tables that include all studies appear on the Monographs programme website (http://monographs.iarc.fr/). For a few well-established associations (for example, tobacco smoke and human lung cancer), it was impractical to include all studies, even in the website tables. In those instances, the rationale for inclusion or exclusion of sets of studies is given.