_Risky Biz

Anneclaire De Roos is studying potential risk factors, including exposure to solvents on the job, for multiple myeloma, an aggressive cancer.

_Anneclaire De Roos

Anneclaire De Roos is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health.

Multiple myeloma is one of the most fatal cancers, with a five-year relative survival rate of about 36 percent in the United States. Studies have shown that exposure to certain chemicals on the job may put people at a greater risk, but more data is needed to make public health recommendations.

Earlier this year, School of Public Health Associate Professor Anneclaire De Roos received a National Institutes of Health grant to conduct a large, consortium-based evaluation of the subject. Her team will assess exposure to five specific solvents: trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, benzene, toluene and xylene.


Five-year relative survival rate in the United States for people diagnosed with multiple myeloma, one of the most fatal cancers.

De Roos and her team will pool data from case-control studies participating in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium — there are more than 3,600 cases and 12,000 controls with questionnaire data on occupation. The study will also investigate family history of lymphomas/leukemias to evaluate its impact on the susceptibility to develop multiple myeloma.

“The study may yield important knowledge that can build toward prevention of this disease, particularly among susceptible subpopulations,” says De Roos.