NCI Cohort Consortium
- Signature Initiatives and Other NCI Cohort Consortium Projects
- Proposing New NCI Cohort Consortium Projects and Collaborations
- Annual Meetings
The NCI Cohort Consortium is an extramural-intramural partnership formed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address the need for large-scale collaborations to pool the large quantity of data and biospecimens necessary to conduct a wide range of cancer studies. The Consortium, through its collaborative network of investigators, provides a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to tackling important scientific questions, economies of scale, and opportunities to quicken the pace of research.
The mission of the NCI Cohort Consortium is to:
- Foster communication among investigators leading cohort studies of cancer;
- Promote collaborative research projects for topics not easily addressed in a single study; and
- Identify common challenges in cohort research and search for solutions.
The NCI Cohort Consortium includes investigators responsible for more than 50 high-quality cohorts involving more than 7 million people. The cohorts are international in scope and cover large, rich, and diverse populations. Extensive risk factor data are available on each cohort, and biospecimens including germline DNA collected at baseline, are available on approximately 2 million individuals. Investigators team up to use common protocols and methods, and to conduct coordinated parallel and pooled analyses.
Application for voting membership shall be open to the Principal Investigator of any cancer epidemiology cohort:
- That has a minimum of 10,000 study participants, in which cancer occurrence is accurately assessed, and has available some risk factor data; and
- Who commits to scientific collaboration by being willing to contribute data for scientific research and consider participating in pooling studies.
Members must also abide by the NCI Cohort Consortium's Bylaws.
Membership is granted after completion and receipt of a membership application. All memberships shall be granted upon a majority vote of the Steering Committee. If interested in joining the NCI Cohort Consortium, contact Chinonye (Nonye) Harvey, M.P.H.
The NCI Cohort Consortium membership is international in scope. It includes investigators responsible for more than 50 cohorts who are studying large and diverse populations in more than 15 different countries.
Signature Initiatives and Other NCI Cohort Consortium Projects
NCI Cohort Consortium members have launched more than 40 scientific and technical initiatives, including the following signature initiatives:
African American Working Group
The African-American Working Group of the NCI Cohort Consortium was formed in 2011 when seven large epidemiology cohorts, each with at least 10,000 African American participants, joined to look at anthropometric measures in relation to mortality in African Americans. The original goals of the Working Group were to assess the relation of body mass index to all-cause, cancer, and CVD mortality, and then pancreas cancer and multiple myeloma, in African American men and women. Limited NCI extramural funds supported data harmonization and preparation of analysis datasets. Since then the Working Group's objectives have expanded to broadly examine determinants of cancer risk and outcome among African Americans. The group now provides a platform for development of new collaborative research leveraging existing data and resources in the Cohort Consortium. The seven cohorts participating in this project are: NIH-AARP; Adventist Health Study 2; Black Women's Health Study; Cancer Prevention Study II; Multiethnic Cohort Study; Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial; and Southern Community Cohort Study. View publications from this project.
BMI and All Cause Mortality Pooling Project
Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium
The Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) began in 2003 and was first funded to conduct collaborative studies of hormone-related gene variants and environmental factors involved in the development of breast and prostate cancer. This research involved 10 cohorts and pooled data on 8,850 patients with prostate cancer and 6,160 patients with breast cancer. The goal was to characterize common variations in about 55 candidate genes that mediate the steroid hormone metabolism and insulin-like growth factor signaling pathways, and associate these variations with cancer risk. In 2007, the BPC3 Consortium received funding from the NCI to expand the number of cases/controls to 14,000 and 16,000 for breast and prostate cancer, respectively, and utilize a genome-wide association approach to identify genetic variants that may be associated with estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer, as well as aggressive forms of prostate cancer. View BPC3 publications.
Diabetes and Cancer Initiative in the NCI Cohort Consortium
The Diabetes and Cancer Initiative in the NCI Cohort Consortium, initiated in 2013, seeks to understand the relationship of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with cancer incidence and survival, both in terms of epidemiology and underlying molecular mechanisms. The project will investigate the association of T2DM with all major cancers, and whether this association is modified by gender, ethnicity, body size, physical activity, smoking, diet, alcohol consumption or menopausal status. The study also will investigate the association of diabetes treatments with cancer incidence and survival. An additional aim will be to identify genetic and metabolic predictors of cancer risk among diabetics.
Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium
The Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium began in 2009 with the principal aim to evaluate the importance of one-carbon metabolism in lung cancer etiology and risk prediction. This will be achieved by bringing together plasma/serum samples and DNA from 5,100 prospectively collected lung cancer cases with individually matched controls from members of the NCI Cohort Consortium. Biochemical analysis will be performed in a central laboratory in Bergen, Norway, including a large panel of B-vitamins and further metabolites related to one-carbon-metabolism. More than 20 prospective cohorts are each contributing at least 200 case-control pairs. Funding is provided through an NCI grant. Supplemental funds to perform biochemical analysis of circulating vitamin D (25(OH)D) in the same laboratory in Norway is being explored.
Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium
The Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium was formed in 2006 and has conducted two genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The studies have led to the discovery of novel regions in the genome associated with risk for pancreatic cancer. Additional epidemiologic and genetic studies using data from these initial studies are now under way. This Consortium includes pancreatic cancer cases and controls from prospective epidemiologic cohorts and hospital-based case-control studies. View the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium's publications.
Tumor Tissue Working Group
The Cohort Consortium Tissue Working Group was formed in the summer of 2014 to create a community of investigators interested in integrating tissue biomarkers into epidemiological studies. The goals of the working group are: 1. Share lessons learned regarding the acquisition of tumor tissue within cohort studies, 2. Allow other cohorts to learn from experienced cohorts in acquisition of tissue, 3. Develop best practices and technical guidance regarding tissue for cohort studies, 4. Discuss the application of technologies and assays – mRNA profiling, methylation, microRNA, immunohistochemistry, etc – and its use in the archival materials, and 5. Provide a forum for future collaborative work. Webinars are scheduled approximately every 3 months. Please contact Danielle Carrick if you would like to be added to the working group.
Vitamin D Pooling Project
The Vitamin D Pooling Project is a nested case-control study that analyzed associations between serum vitamin D concentrations (25(OH)D) and development of certain rarer cancers – endometrial, esophageal, stomach, ovarian, pancreatic, and kidney cancers, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The study included data from more than 12,000 samples from 10 participating cohorts. View publications from the Vitamin D Pooling Project.
Other NCI Cohort Consortium projects that may be of interest:
Proposing New NCI Cohort Consortium Projects and Collaborations
Investigators interested in proposing a project should fill out the form below and e-mail the completed form to Nonye Harvey, M.P.H., NCI Cohort Consortium Coordinator. The deadlines for submitting proposals are: February 5, June 5, and October 5. Although investigators can submit proposals at any given time throughout the year, they will not be reviewed until after the next deadline closest to the time of submission. For more information on the evaluation criteria for pooling projects, see the link below.
- Project Proposal Form [PDF - 1MB]
- Criteria for evaluation of NCI Cohort Consortium pooling projects and actions/implications
View information about past meetings:
- For questions related to the NCI Cohort Consortium - Nonye Harvey, M.P.H