Xavier Castellsagué, M.D.[a 1], Ph.D.[a 2], (1959 – 12 June 2016 in Bruguera, Spain) was an epidemiologist in the discipline of infections and cancer and a promoter of circumcision. He also was a colleague of F. Xavier Bosch.
Castellsagué graduated in Medicine from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 1983, completed his Master's and Doctorate in Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University in 1991, and his postdoctoral stay at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1991-92. His most relevant area of work focused on the study of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, the implications of the virus in other genital tumors and especially in oropharyngeal tumors, vaccination studies against HPV and studies of the impact of nutrition and certain nutrients on cervical carcinogenesis.
Since 2002, he organized and directed the International HPV Information Center in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the IARC, and was the leader of a distance training program on scientific research methodology in oncology.
Nobel price for medicine
In 2008, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was shared by three scientists who generated very significant advances in the knowledge of HPV and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The HPV candidacy was formed by the tandem Harald Zur Hausen and Nubia Muñoz as representatives recognized by the scientific community as leaders in the generation of hypotheses and in the use of the first molecular tests for the detection of viral DNA in cytological samples, and in the organization of large epidemiological studies on issues of causality and risk estimation. The genuine contributions of Dr. Muñoz's group, to which Castellsagué joined, included the construction of the first large epidemiological studies that confirmed the causality of the association.
Health intervention: vaccination against HPV
Castellsagué was a professional always motivated by intervention and prevention. In his post-graduate years he worked with Doctors Without Borders and other non-governmental organizations in India, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Later, already installed in Barcelona, he attended the refugee camps of the Balkan war, and directly or supported by his fantastic daughters participated in the reconstruction of a school affected by the earthquakes in Nepal, among other solidarity activities in Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Palestine.
Being an expert on infections and cancer, chances are that Castellsagué caught early attention of circumfetishist Brian J. Morris, who won him in support of his flimsy papers. So Castellsagué co-authored at least these for Morris:
- Morris BJ, Castellsagué X, Bailis SA. Re: cost analysis of neonatal circumcision in a large health maintenance organization. J Urol. November 2006; 176(5): 2315-6. PMID. DOI.
- Morris BJ, Gray RH, Castellsagué X, Bosch FX, Halperin DT, Waskett JH, Hankins CA. The Strong Protective Effect of Circumcision against Cancer of the Penis. Adv Urol. 22 May 2011; PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 4 August 2022.