Projects of the NCI Cohort Consortium

The bulk of research in the Cohort Consortium emanates from the projects and working groups. By participating in consortium projects/working groups, investigators have the opportunity leverage existing resources in the consortium and collaborate on large pooling studies to address important scientific questions not easily addressed in a single study. The consortium projects/working groups focus on specific cancer sites, exposures or other research areas of interest to the consortium. For more information on the projects, read the background and specific aims or contact the PI directly.

Visit this page for information on proposing a new project for the Cohort Consortium.

Active Projects and Working Groups

These are Cohort Consortium projects/working groups that have been approved by the Steering Committee and are at different stages: e.g., ongoing recruitment of cohort studies to participate, data collection, data analysis, manuscript preparation, etc.

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Project/Group Investigator(s) Year Initiated Tumor Site(s)
Alcohol, Diet and Body Fatness as Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer and its Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis
Project Background

Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer globally with an estimated 952,000 incident cases (6.8% of all cancers) in 2012. The Continuous Update Project of the World Cancer Research Fund recently adjudged heavy alcohol use, consumption of processed meat and foods preserved by salting, and greater body fatness as probable causes of stomach cancer. Although a role in the etiology of stomach cancer is mechanistically plausible for these largely modifiable factors, none at present is conclusively established as a causal agent. The over-arching objective is to assess, with the maximum available precision, alcohol use; intake of meat and fish; intake of fruit, vegetable and cereal; dietary fiber intake; consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, coffee and tea; use of aspirin and NSAIDs; and adult height, overweight and obesity, as risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the stomach.

Harindra Jayasekara, Dallas English, Robert MacInnis, Stephanie Smith-Warner, Pietro Ferrari, Andrew Haydon and others 2018 Stomach
Appendiceal Cancer Consortium (APPECC)
Project Background

As a rare cancer with a rising incidence rate in the U.S., little is known about the risk factors and etiologies of appendiceal cancer (AC). Additionally, in the absence of prognostic and predictive biomarkers and new therapeutic targets specific to AC, therapeutic advances in this malignancy remain very limited. The study of AC patients in diverse cohorts with comprehensive clinical and individual-level information is necessary to determine the extent to which access to healthcare, health behaviors, and potential environmental exposures may contribute to differences in disease risk and outcomes among patients with AC. The over-arching objective of this project will be to understand risk factors, etiologies, and prognostic factors of AC and utilize this knowledge to reverse the increasing disease burden as well as inform clinical, molecular, and population-level features that contribute to appendiceal cancer disparities.

Andreana Holowatyj 2020 Appendix
Aspirin, Non-Aspirin NSAID, Acetaminophen Use, and Ovarian Cancer Risk project (OC3 sub-project)
Project Background

This study, begun in 2013, pools case-control data from the EGRP-supported Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium (OC3) to examine the chemopreventive potential of aspirin, acetaminophen, or non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and the risk of ovarian cancer and its major histologic subtypes. Ovarian cancer's high mortality rate makes this disease a major public health problem.

Britton Trabert 2013 Ovary
Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project (LCPP sub-project)
Project Background

The Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project, begun in 2012, is a prospective study to evaluate risk factors for individual types of biliary tract cancers, including smoking, diabetes, anti-inflammatory drug use, and family history of cancer. Gallbladder cancer accounts for more than 50 percent of biliary tract cancers and occurs more often in women than in men.

In addition, other cancers of the biliary tract display distinct demographic and molecular profiles indicating that they are separate disease entities. Little is known about the etiology of these rare cancers beyond a positive association with history of cholesterol gallstones.

Jill Koshiol, Peter Campbell and Katherine McGlynn 2012 Liver, Gallbladder, Bile Duct, Biliary Tract
Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Modeling Working Group
Project Background

Breast cancer risk models are used in clinical settings to identify women at elevated risk of developing breast cancer who could benefit from preventive therapies or enhanced screening. Efforts to improve current models are needed to incorporate new knowledge about breast cancer risk factors, expand validation in diverse populations, and integrate subtype-specific risk estimation.  The overall goal of this project is to pool data from prospective cohort studies to develop and validate models to estimate absolute risk of overall and subtype specific breast cancer. The risk tool will integrate a comprehensive set of risk factors, including reproductive and lifestyle factors, genetic factors, and mammographic density. The proposed large-scale project is expected to advance and transform clinical risk management by delivering a flexible tool for absolute risk prediction in women across race/ethnicity groups.

Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Mia Gaudet, Peter Kraft and Nilanjan Chatterjee 2018 Breast
Cancer in Hispanic Populations
Project Background

The U.S. Hispanic population has been one of the fastest growing populations, with a projected estimate of up to 29% of the U.S. population by 2060. The implications for cancer due to this demographic shift are significant as some subgroups within the Hispanic population have higher prevalence of many cancer-related risk factors (e.g. obesity, diabetes, or infections) as compared to their counterparts. Currently, reported cancer statistics for this population group are often aggregated. As a result, possible cancer disparities are masked for several Hispanic subgroups. Furthermore, the role of acculturation in the risk of cancer for the Hispanic population is complex, as effects of acculturation can have both negative and positive effects on cancer burden. The aim of the working group is to create a venue for the discussion of collaborative cancer epidemiologic research for U.S. and non-U.S. Hispanic populations, including opportunities to identify existing resources that could be leveraged and enhanced, with the goal of creating a research consortium for cancer epidemiologic studies in Hispanic populations.

Program Leads: Tram Lam and Gabriel Lai 2017 N/A
Coffee Drinking and Mortality
Project Background

Since coffee is one of the most widely consumed items worldwide, there is a growing interest in its effects on public health. In general, the research has shown inverse associations with all-cause mortality; however, there remain a number of important questions that may impact dietary guidance. This study aims to provide stable estimates of mortality risk across the range of low to high coffee intake; to assess whether age modifies the association of coffee-drinking with mortality; to evaluate smokers and non-smokers separately; to evaluate mortality risks in subgroups of race/ethnicity and decaffeinated/caffeinated coffee drinkers; and to evaluate participants with comorbidities separately from those without them.

Erikka Loftfield 2016 N/A
Colorectal Cancer Pooling Project (C2P2)
Project Background

From 1975 to 2015, colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates declined overall due to uptakes in early detection, temporal changes in CRC risk factors, and improved CRC treatments (for mortality). However, these rate reductions are observed only among adults aged 50 years and older. Conversely, early-onset CRC incidence rates in men and women have been increasing since the late 1980s in the U.S. and in other areas of the world. Limited data suggests that early-onset CRC may have unique etiologic profiles that distinguish it from older-onset disease. However, known risk factors of early-onset CRC are still generally poorly understood. Therefore, the over-arching objective will be to understand the role of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for early-onset versus late-onset CRC and to create a resource for future studies of blood-based biomarkers of CRC.

Peter T. Campbell 2019 Colon and Rectum
Design and Validation of an Oral Cancer Risk Prediction Model
Project Background

Oral cavity cancers (OCCs) are ideal candidates for screening because the infection site is easily accessible for visual inspection, but data is lacking to assess the benefits and harms of cancer screening. This is the result of research gaps in identification of high-risk populations and risk stratification tools, screening and intervention methods, and natural history of OCCs. To respond, this project aims to develop and validate risk prediction models for OCC incidence and OCC mortality. Risk prediction models will be developed using data from the U.S. cohorts of the Cohort Consortium on socio-demographic factors, anthropometrics, behaviors, and medical and family history, and will be validated in U.S. health surveys.

Anil Chaturvedi 2016 Head and Neck
Diabetes and Cancer Initiative in the Cohort Consortium
Publications Project Background

This project, 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.

Heather Ward, Marc Gunter and Elio Riboli 2013 Various
Dietary Biomarkers of Glioma Risk
Project Background

Malignant glioma is an aggressive neoplasm of the CNS. Etiology is poorly understood. In this proposed project we aim to combine cohorts with serum repositories to test novel hypotheses related to the dietary prevention of glioma. The project will focus on the lipid-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. Our overall goal is to identify potential dietary factors for glioma prevention. No modifiable risk factor has been established. Results may help guide future prevention efforts for this highly fatal cancer.

Kathleen Egan and Stephanie Smith-Warner 2018 Brain
Environmental Factors, GxE Interactions and Bladder Cancer Risk
Project Background

Bladder cancer is the 7th most common cancer worldwide, with an estimated 260,000 new cases diagnosed annually in men and 76,000 in women. The strongest risk factors for bladder cancer are cigarette smoking and occupational exposure to carcinogens. Despite extensive research by many individual studies, it remains unclear whether bladder cancer is related to other modifiable factors such as NSAID use, diet, alcohol and other beverage consumption, overweight and obesity and, for women, reproductive history, oral contraceptive use and hormone therapy use. The main objective of this project will be to use pooled prospective cohort data to assess associations with bladder cancer risk for predominantly modifiable lifestyle factors for which findings to date have been inconclusive. Another goal will be to carry out gene-environment interaction (GxE) analyses in studies that have already scanned samples for GWAS. Finally, there is also the possibility of scanning at NCI additional samples from all cohorts, including those that haven't participated in previous GWAS.

Roger Milne 2018 Bladder
Evaluating Risk Prediction Models for Use in Lung Cancer Screening Across Diverse Populations Around the World
Project Background

Screening for lung cancer by low-dose computed tomography was first shown to reduce lung cancer mortality among heavy smokers in 2011 by the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Secondary analyses of the NLST showed that screening is more effective and efficient if eligibility is based on continuous, individual lung cancer risk rather than categorical guidelines. However, a major challenge facing risk-based CT screening eligibility is that the most accepted risk models were developed and validated in healthy, largely non-Hispanic white, American populations, and their portability outside of that context is largely unknown. Therefore, the over-arching objective will be to determine whether established lung cancer risk models can be validly applied in diverse populations worldwide, and to develop new tools for emerging settings in lung CT screening.

Hilary Robbins and Mattias Johansson 2019 Lung
Extreme Obesity and Risk of Endometrial Cancer in the NCI Cohort Consortium
Project Background

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological cancer and the fourth leading cancer among women. Obesity is an established risk factor for developing endometrial cancer, but the nature of the relationship at extreme levels of adiposity is not well understood, nor is it clear whether differences exist by endometrial cancer subtypes. Given the rare class III BMI subgroup as well as the number of cancer subtype classifications by histology and grade, a large sample size is required to explore the association between morbid obesity and endometrial cancer, and to accurately estimate Population Attributable Risks (PARs). The major objective of this study is to provide an assessment of the association between morbid obesity and endometrial cancer.

Mary C. Playdon 2018 Uterus
Family History and Cancer Risk and Mortality
Project Background

This project, initiated in 2015, seeks to improve risk assessment for families with a strong family history of cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and rectum, ovary, lung, and pancreas. By calculating age-specific incidences of these cancers, the project will be able to identify factors that could lead to reduced risk and increased screening efficacy of these site-specific cancers. The project also will assess whether the associations with established and suspected risk factors differ according to family history. By using the large prospective data pool available from the cohort consortium, the project will have sufficient statistical power to assess risk based on family history rather than clinic-based samples.

Mary Beth Terry, Jeanine M. Genkinger, Robert MacInnis, Stephanie Smith-Warner and others 2015 Breast, Prostate, Colon and Rectum, Ovary, Lung, and Pancreas
Genome-Wide Association Study for Pancreatic Cancer (PanScan3)
Publications Project Background

Within the framework of the NCI-sponsored Cohort Consortium, investigators from 12 prospective epidemiologic cohorts formed the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium in 2006. The group's first study, also known as "PanScan I," involved a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of common genetic variants to identify markers of susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. In 2007, the study was expanded to include 8 case-control studies (PanScan II). PanScan I and II led to the discovery of four novel regions in the genome associated with risk for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

The third phase of PanScan (PanScan III), will study recently identified incident pancreatic cancer cases and controls drawn from 14 cohorts from the NCI Cohort Consortium, including the 10 prospective cohorts who participated in PanScan I and II, and four newly joined cohorts. Therefore, PanScan III will include approximately 2,400 additional cases for genome-wide scanning. In a replication study, PanScan III investigators will genotype the top 20-50 loci from the GWAS. A joint analysis of the newly scanned cases will be conducted with cases from PanScan I and II to identify novel regions of the genome associated with pancreatic cancer susceptibility. With the larger sample size (about 6,200 cases and 13,900 controls), it is anticipated that the PanScan III study will identify new genetic risk variants for etiology.

Laufey Amundadottir, Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon and Brian Wolpin for the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium 2006 Pancreas
Genome-Wide Association Study of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (LMWG sub-project)
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2008, is conducting a GWAS of NHL and selected NHL subtypes in cases from the InterLymph Consortium. Genome scanning is completed and data analysis is in progress. The analysis will focus on individual NHL histologic subtypes, where appropriate, and compare across subtypes to evaluate heterogeneity in genetic susceptibility to NHL. Secondary analyses of genotype data and gene-environment studies are planned.

Jonathan Hofmann, Lauren Teras, Nat Rothman and Sonja Berndt for the Lymphoid Malignancies Working Group 2008 Various
Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) of Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2009, will expand the existing GWAS of Renal Cell Carcinoma by scanning an additional 5,000 cases and controls, identifying novel RCC susceptibility loci, and obtaining survival data to enable GWAS of RCC survival. It also will search for evidence of interaction between genetic variants and established risk factors for RCC.

Mark Purdue and Ghislaine Scelo 2009 Kidney
HPV Cancer Cohort Consortium (HPVC3)
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2009, is evaluating the association between HPV and HNCs, including cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, and larynx, by testing incident cancer cases and matched controls using new serologic assays that allow measurement of anti-HPV antibodies. Preliminary findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study are available here.

Paul Brennan, Hilary Robbins, Aimee Kreimer, Tim Waterboer and Mattias Johansson 2009 Head and Neck, Colorectum
Impact of Alcohol Use on Cancer Incidence and Mortality (DCPP sub-project)
Project Background

This project, begun in 2014, is examining evidence that suggests a causal link between alcohol use and several different cancers, including cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract, female breast, liver, and colorectum. Former and current alcohol consumption has been found responsible for 10 percent of the incidence of total cancer in men and 3 percent in women; alcohol intake has also been associated with increased risk of death from some cancers. Data from the NCI Cohort Consortium are being systematically evaluated to identify the burden of alcohol use on both site-specific cancer incidence and overall mortality. The consortium data also will help determine the extent of the effect of alcohol use on disease risk in nonsmokers, by socioeconomic status, by sex, and by region.

Stephanie Smith-Warner, Paul Brennan and Pietro Ferrari 2014 N/A
Infection-Based Markers of Glioma Risk in the NCI Cohort Consortium
Project Background

Malignant glioma is an aggressive neoplasm of the central nervous system (CNS). However, the etiology is poorly understood and studies examining modifiable risk factors remain limited in number. Much of what is known has arisen from case-control studies that are subject to methodological biases, and few individual cohorts offer sufficient statistical power to evaluate such questions. In the proposed investigation, we aim to combine prospective cohort studies with adequate serum repositories to test novel hypotheses related to an infectious etiology of glioma. Our overall goal is to identify pathogens associated with glioma risk. Cohorts with long-standing blood repositories offer an opportunity to study pre-diagnostic circulating levels of antibodies against pathogenic antigens. Identification of pathogens associated with glioma would offer an opportunity to guide future cancer prevention efforts for this highly fatal cancer.

Anna Coghill, Kathleen Egan and Stephanie Smith-Warner 2019 Brain
Inflammation and Breast Cancer Risk and Mortality
Project Background

Research indicates that chronic inflammation increases cancer risk. However, regular use of NSAIDS can mitigate that risk. Although few studies have been conducted on inflammatory markers and breast cancer survival, it is important to determine the association between them.

This study aims to use existing laboratory results to investigate the association of inflammatory markers and anti-inflammatory drugs with breast cancer risk, incidence, and survival. It also seeks to explore the influence of ethnicity, body size, physical activity, smoking, diet, menopausal status, and MHT use on these relationships. Finally, it will investigate the differences in these associations across breast cancer subtypes.

Laure Dossus 2016 Breast
Investigation into Etiology of Small Intestinal Cancer in a Pooled Cohort
Project Background

This project explores possible reasons for the rare incidence of small intestinal cancer (SIC). Phase I of the study, a pooled data analysis of available cohort data, will describe the incidence and survival of SIC in different populations and investigate whether potential risk factors—including diet, physical activity, anthropometry, comorbidities, chronic inflammation, and medications—are associated with the risk of SIC, considering histological types and anatomical sub-localizations. Phase II will investigate the metabolic, genetic, and epigenetic profiling of SIC.

Elio Riboli, Yunxia Lu and Marc Gunter 2014 N/A
Liver Cancer Pooling Project (LCPP)
Publications Project Background

The Liver Cancer Pooling Project was formed in 2008 to study known and novel risk factors for the increasing incidence of liver cancer in the United States. Possible factors include BMI, diabetes, physical activity, reproductive history, hormone levels, hypertension, occupational and pesticide exposure, and inflammatory markers. The project has compiled data and serum samples from 14 participating U.S. cohorts encompassing more than 2,000 individuals with liver cancer.

Katherine A. McGlynn and Peter Campbell 2008 Liver
Lung Cancer Calcium Intake Pooling Project
Publications Project Background

Bone metastasis is a major complication among lung cancer patients. This study, begun in 2012, seeks to corroborate the findings of the Shanghai Women's Health Study in which a strong inverse association between dietary calcium intake and lung cancer risk in nonsmokers was observed. The study is evaluating the role of calcium intake and bone turnover in lung cancer among nonsmokers; testing whether bone turnover markers are associated with lung cancer risk among nonsmokers; and testing whether these associations are modified by Vitamin D status, age group, menopausal status, or hormone therapy use.

Xiao-Ou Shu 2012 Lung
Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium (LC3)
Publications Project Background

This project began in 2009 to evaluate etiological factors of lung cancer, and has now shifted toward using protein biomarkers to improve lung cancer screening. Proteomics analyses will be conducted on more than 5,000 lung cancer cases from 16 individual cohorts.

Mattias Johansson, Hilary Robbins and Paul Brennan 2009 Lung
Menarche and the Risks of Incident Cancers and Mortality by Cause
Project Background

This project proposes a large pooled study to evaluate associations between age at menarche and height with risks for cancers and cancer-associated mortality, all-cause mortality, and mortality by cause. In addition, the study will assess age, period, birth cohort, geographic location, and adult BMI as potential modifiers of the risk associations. The investigators hypothesize that early menarche and increased height are markers of an early life characterized by a less diverse gut microbiome, and that reduced gut microbial diversity is a predisposing risk factor for many chronic diseases. The study aims to identify diseases in which the gut microbiome plays an etiologic role so they can be investigated further with the intent of developing preventive interventions.

Barbara J. Fuhrman 2015 Various
Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium (OC3)External Web Site Policy
Publications Project Background

This project began in 2010 and aims to (1) study associations of risk factors for invasive ovarian cancer, including how these factors differ by histologic subtype, tumor dominance, and tumor aggressiveness; and (2) develop ovarian cancer risk prediction models accounting for differential associations by cancer phenotype. The project will create an infrastructure with a core dataset of variables for studying ovarian cancer epidemiology including projects that will use prospectively collected biological specimens.

Shelley Tworoger, Nicolas Wentzensen, Britton Trabert, Renee Fortner and Mary Townsend for the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium 2010 Ovary
Physical Activity and Risk of Cancer in the Cohort Consortium
Publications Project Background

This study began in 2011 and will assess the association between physical activity and individual cancer sites and overall cancer burden. In addition, the project will include hazard ratios for each cancer site studied to estimate the dose-response relation between physical activity and cancers of the breast, endometrium, and colon and rare cancers that have not been adequately examined in prior physical activity studies.

Alpa Patel and Erika Rees-Punia 2011 Various
Pooled Investigation of Circulating Adiponectin and Multiple Myeloma (LMWG sub-project)
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2012, is investigating whether elevated levels of adiponectin are associated with reduced risk of multiple myeloma as has been observed in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PCLO). Obese individuals often have lower levels of adiponectin, a hormone which may protect against multiple myeloma through its anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing properties. The study will explore differences in populations by sex, race, age, BMI, and time from blood collection to case diagnosis.

Mark Purdue and Jonathan Hofmann 2012 Various
Pooling Project of Circulating Biomarkers and Breast and Colorectal Cancer (BBC3)
Publications Project Background

Begun in 2008, this project includes 20 cohort studies and is investigating the association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of breast and colorectal cancers. Analyses will be conducted by tumor subtype, population subgroups, lifestyle factors, polymorphisms in vitamin D receptor and metabolism genes, and other biomarkers.

Stephanie Smith-Warner 2008 Breast, Colorectum
Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer (DCPP)
Publications Project Background

The Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer, established in 1991, is an international consortium of over 30 cohort studies that is examining associations between nutrient and food intake and anthropometric factors and risk of several cancers including breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, renal cell, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.

Stephanie Smith-Warner 2008 Various
Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) Project (DCPP sub-project)
Project Background

The disease burden measure population attributable fraction (PAF) estimates the proportion of cancer that could be avoided if exposure to its risk factors were removed or reduced. PAFs are increasingly used to evaluate the national and global burden of cancer and to advocate for changes in public health policy to reduce the prevalence of causal exposures. Most previous studies that estimated PAFs, however, have evaluated past burden rather than future burden, have not accounted for joint effects of exposures and competing risks, and have not tested for differences in PAFs between subgroups. There is the need to investigate more broadly in a large international pooled cohort where we can accurately quantify, rank, and compare subgroups and countries with high future burdens of disease. The over-arching objective of this project is to estimate PAFs and their confidence intervals for cancer incidence, allowing for analysis of the simultaneous effects of multiple exposures and accounting for competing risks, and using representative contemporaneous external exposure prevalence data.

Robert MacInnis 2020 Multiple sites
Prediagnostic Androgens and IGF-1 and Risk of Ovarian Cancer (OC3 sub-project)
Project Background

This study, begun in 2012, is investigating the causes of epithelial ovarian cancer by studying the role of prediagnostic androgens and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Using pooled data, the analyses explore associations by major histological subtypes of tumors and tumor dominance.

Shelley Tworoger and Renee Fortner 2012 Ovary
Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collaborative Group
Publications Project Background

This study, begun in 2013, seeks to produce detailed cohort-based analyses of risk factors for premenopausal and perimenopausal breast cancer, both overall and by hormone receptor status and histology, using data collected by cohorts at recruitment and at least one follow-up questionnaire. The study is analyzing breast cancer risks in the years soon after pregnancy, jointly with Hazel Nichols' Pooled Analysis of Time Since Birth and Breast Cancer Subtype.

Hazel B. Nichols and Anthony J. Swerdlow 2013 Breast
Prospective Evaluation of IGF and IL-6 Dysregulation and Multiple Myeloma (MM) (Original LMWG project)
Publications Project Background

This project, which began in 2007, is exploring the association between the risk for MM and markers of dysregulation in insulin-like growth factor (IGF), insulin, and interleukin (IL)-6 signaling pathways. The analyses of plasma studies are complete, and an expanded series of studies on genetic markers was developed to permit replication of newly published genetic susceptibility findings in pathways related to signaling by IGF, IL-6, insulin or other mediators of inflammation or innate immunity. The genotyping of DNA samples also is finished, and data analysis is in progress. See publication here.

Lauren Teras, Graham A. Colditz and Jonathan Hofmann for the Lymphoid Malignancies Working Group 2007 Various
Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (PC3)
Project Background

There is emerging evidence of unique molecular subtypes in prostate cancer. Few epidemiological studies to date have prospectively collected epidemiological data linked with prostate tumor tissue as well as long-term follow-up for cancer outcomes. The broad aims of the PC3 working group are to: 1) provide information on prostate cancer resources available across the cancer epidemiology cohorts, including biospecimens; 2) create a forum for investigators interested in proposing collaborative studies across the cohorts; 3) identify topics in which a collaborative study would be more successful, such as when an exposure category or disease subtype is rare and statistical power is an issue; 4) synergize the expertise of the diverse working group members in order to accelerate science on prostate cancer epidemiology.

Lorelei Mucci, Eric Jacobs, Michael B. Cook and Elizabeth Platz 2016 Prostate
Risk Factors for Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Project Background

This project, initiated in 2011, is the first prospective assessment of risk factors for inflammatory breast cancer. Exposures to be considered include reproductive factors, smoking history, alcohol intake, BMI, and family history. Although inflammatory breast cancer comprises 1 to 2 percent of total breast cancer cases, it is an aggressive form of breast cancer that has been studied only by a small number of case-control studies.

Anne Skillings and Sue Hankinson 2011 Breast
Serologic Inflammatory Markers and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Risk
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2014, is exploring the interplay between obesity and systemic inflammatory markers in the development of certain adenocarcinomas. The study is testing whether there is an association between the inflammatory effects of excess adipose tissue and the rare malignancies esophageal adenocarcinoma or esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma by examining prediagnostic serum of individuals who were later diagnosed with either of these two adenocarcinomas. Multiplex assays will be used to quantify 60 inflammatory cytokines.

Michael Cook and Peter Campbell 2014 Esophagus
Serum Autoantibodies Biomarkers for Gastric Cancer Using Proteome Microarray
Project Background

Gastric cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. It is critical to develop novel biomarkers for gastric cancer prevention. Serum autoantibodies (AAbs), which result from humoral immune response to aberrantly expressed, mutated or post-translationally modified proteins, have been proposed as promising biomarker candidates. Several serum antigen biomarkers have been identified for gastric cancer. Evidence suggests that AAbs can be detected at premalignant stages prior to diagnosis; however, no studies have investigated them as using samples collected from cases prior to diagnosis. In addition, many studies only measured a limited set of candidate autoantibodies. Recent progresses in the development of antibody detection technologies like protein microarrays and immuno-bead assays make it possible to detect multiple autoantibodies simultaneously with sufficient reproducibility. We aim to identify a panel of autoantibodies that can be measured in pre-diagnostic serum samples to differentiate gastric cases from controls.

Yu Chen 2018 Stomach
Survivorship/Second Cancers Working Group
Project Background

This study, begun in 2012, examines non-treatment risk factors for second cancers. The etiology of most second cancers is unknown, and the risk factors for these cancers likely account for the majority of multiple primary malignancies. Pooling data from five cohorts, three projects have been launched to study: (1) second cancer incidence and methodological challenges of studying second cancer risk factors in epidemiologic cohorts; (2) obesity and second cancer risk among colorectal cancer survivors; and (3) tobacco, alcohol, and risk of multiple primary cancers.

Joanne Elena 2012 Various

Interest Groups

These are Cohort Consortium projects that have been approved by the Steering Committee but are not yet active for a variety of reasons. If you are interested in joining any of these interest groups or would like more information on the projects, please contact the investigator(s).

Project/Group Investigator(s) Year Initiated Tumor Site(s)
Anthropometrics and Family History of Cancer as Risk Factors for Sarcoma
Project Background

At present, sarcomas are exceedingly rare and few individual prospective cohorts have sufficient power to evaluate the relationship between risk factors and these cancers. However, evidence suggests that genetic predisposition plays a substantial role in sarcoma risk and that growth parameters are also associated with sarcoma. In this project, we aim to use the Cohort Consortium to evaluate two factors which are plausibly related to sarcoma risk and widely available in the component cohorts: anthropometrics and family history of cancer.

Logan G. Spector 2017 Soft Tissue, Bone Sarcoma
DNA Methylation Biomarkers of Primary Liver Cancer Risk
Publications Project Background

This project, begun in 2013, seeks to identify DNA methylation biomarkers associated with primary liver cancer risk. Genome-wide analysis of the DNA methylation profile will be performed on blood samples from 100 patients diagnosed with primary liver cancer and on 100 controls matched for age, recruitment center, and blood collection date. The major differences between the cases and controls will be validated by pyrosequencing in the entire set of samples, and biomarkers of risk prediction will be established. Late onset of clinical symptoms accounts for late diagnosis and poor prognosis; predicting the risk of cancer development through epigenetics opens the door to prevention and improved disease management.

Barbara Stefanska 2013 Liver
Longitudinal Metabolomics Study on Pancreatic Cancer
Project Background

Metabolomics may facilitate the discovery of novel biomarkers for early diagnosis. However, the diagnostic value of metabolite biomarkers in a pre-diagnostic sample is currently unknown.

Therefore, in this project, we propose to examine metabolites using pre-diagnostic blood samples in order to identify highly sensitive and specific biomarkers for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer among high-risk populations, including those with genetic heritability, long-term or recent onset of diabetes, and those with chronic pancreatitis.

Li Jiao 2016 Pancreas
Pooled Analysis of Circulating Carotenoids and Breast Cancer Risk
Publications Project Background

This study, begun in 2012, examines the inverse association between several carotenoids and breast cancer. The study examines whether interactions with lifestyle factors, including BMI, smoking, and alcohol consumption, modify the association of carotenoids with breast cancer risk.

Heather Eliassen 2012 Breast
Reproductive and Menstrual Factors and Cancer Risk
Project Background

This project will conduct a collaborative pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies of reproductive and menstrual factors in colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer, utilizing the infrastructure of the NCI Cohort Consortium. This analysis of pooled individual data will offer unprecedented statistical power and increase the accuracy and precision of the estimated associations. Overall, this project will provide novel insights into the relationships between reproductive history and menstrual factors and development of these malignancies and, by extension, the role of lifetime estrogen exposure.

Neil Murphy 2017 Colorectum, Esophagus, Stomach, Pancreas, Kidney
Risk Factors for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Project Background

The goals of this project, begun in 2014, are to evaluate lifestyle and anthropometric risk factors for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and to identify overlapping risk factors for MDS and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Approximately 30 percent of patients with MDS will develop AML, and the two diseases have many risk factors in common, including overweight and obesity. This study is using proportional hazards regression to evaluate whether lifestyle (smoking, NSAID use) and such anthropometric variables as BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and height can predict which MDS patients will progress to AML.

Kim Robien and Jenny Poynter 2014 Various

Completed Projects and Working Groups

These are Cohort Consortium-approved projects/working groups that have been completed or closed and are therefore no longer active. For more information please contact the investigator(s).

Project/Group Investigator(s) Year Initiated
African American Working Group
Project Background

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.

Julie R. Palmer, William J. Blot, Nonye Harvey and others 2011
Biomarkers and Breast Cancer Risk Prediction in Younger Women
Project Background

This study, initiated in 2012, is developing an improved breast cancer risk prediction model for premenopausal women under 50 years of age. The model could have applications for both screening and chemoprevention. The study is assessing whether adding biomarkers (i.e., testosterone, free testosterone, circulating Müllerian Inhibiting Substance [MIS]) to the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (also known as the Gail Model) improves risk prediction in women under 50. The results could help younger women decide: (1) the most appropriate age to begin screening, and (2) whether to take tamoxifen for chemoprevention.

Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte 2012
BMI, Body Fat Distribution, and Mortality
Project Background

This project began in 2011 to assess the association of waist circumference with total and selected cause-specific (e.g., cardiovascular, cancer) mortality. A secondary analysis assessed hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, using data on more than 650,000 participants from 11 cohorts in the BMI and Mortality and Physical Activity Pooling Projects. The project has been completed and a manuscript is being submitted to a peer reviewed journal.

James Cerhan, Patricia Hartge, Leslie Bernstein and Amy Berrington de Gonzalez for the BMI Cohort Consortium 2011
BMI and Mortality in Asian Americans
Project Background

This project evaluated the association between BMI and mortality in 20,672 Asian Americans by pooling data from 10 prospective cohort studies. Results were published in 2014.

Yikyung Park, Sophia Wang, Walter Willett and others 2011
BMI and Multiple Myeloma Mortality
Project Background

This project evaluated the relationship between anthropometric measures (e.g., height, baseline BMI, young-adult BMI, BMI change, waist/hip ratio) and death from multiple myeloma by pooling data from 20 prospective cohort studies, including 1.5 million study participants. Results were published in 2014.

Lauren Teras, Cari Kitahara, Mark Purdue and others 2012
Body Mass Index (BMI) All-Cause Mortality Pooling Project
Project Background

This project began in 2007 as a collaborative effort among more than 20 prospective epidemiologic studies to examine and quantify the relationship between BMI and all-cause mortality; and determine the extent to which the relationship between BMI and all-cause mortality varies by factors such as age, sex, smoking status, preexisting heart disease or cancer, physical activity, alcohol intake, education, and marital status.

The project analyzed pooled data from prospective studies encompassing 1.46 million adults to estimate hazard ratios for the association between BMI and all-cause mortality. The results were published in 2010. See publication here.

Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, Michael Thun and others 2007
Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) - 1st funding cycle
Project Background

The BPC3 began in 2003 to study hormone-related gene variants and environmental factors involved in the development of breast and prostate cancers. The goal was to characterize variations in about 55 candidate genes that mediate the steroid hormone metabolism and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathways, and associate these variations with cancer risk.

In 2007, the BPC3 expanded the study population and used a genome-wide association approach to identify genetic variants that may be associated with estrogen receptor negative breast cancer, as well as aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

David Hunter, Michael Thun, Elio Riboli and Brian Henderson 2003
Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) (Phase II)
Project Background

This new BPC3 study will expand the first phase of BPC3 to serve as a rapid verification test set for SNPs identified in the scans other than the CGEMS scan, and to examine gene-environment interactions in the SNPs identified in CGEMS and other studies as being associated with breast and prostate cancer.

With the completion of GWAS for breast cancer and prostate cancers in aggregate, important questions remain that the BPC3 is uniquely positioned to answer. Estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancers have specific epidemiologic characteristics and greater lethality, but the current generation of scans is underpowered to discover gene variants associated with these tumors. Aggressive forms of prostate cancer, characterized by extraprostatic extension (Stage C/D) or high histologic grade (Gleason score 8+), differ epidemiologically from the vastly more common indolent forms of prostate cancer and are of the greatest clinical importance, but again the current scans are underpowered to discover associated genetic determinants. No single study is likely to have enough cases of these cancer subtypes to perform a GWAS. By pooling cases across the BPC3 studies, the investigators can achieve adequate power to discover genetic variation that gives rise to these important clinical subtypes. See publications here.

Susan Gapstur, Stephen Chanock, Mia Gaudet, Peter Kraft and others 2007
Class III Obesity and Mortality
Project Background

This pooled analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies evaluated total and cause-specific mortality rates for adults with BMI values in the class III obesity range (BMI 40-59) compared with those classified as normal-weight (BMI 18.5-24.9). Study participants included 9,564 adults in the class III obesity group and 304,011 adults in the normal-weight group, all of whom were never smokers and without a history of heart disease, cancer, stroke, or emphysema at study entry. Results were published in 2014.

Cari Kitahara, Patricia Hartge, Amy Berrington de Gonzalez and others 2014
Cohort-based GWAS of Glioma (GliomaScan)
Project Background

GliomaScan, begun in 2008, investigates the etiology, prevention, and treatment of brain tumors by conducting a GWAS study of glioma with a large number of cohort-derived samples. Follow-up analyses are examining genetic pathways, gene-gene, and gene-environment interactions. The study has found evidence of strong replication for three previously reported associations; larger studies focusing on novel approaches as well as specific tumor subtypes or subgroups will be required to identify additional common susceptibility loci for glioma risk. See publications here.

Martha Linet, Preetha Rajaraman and Beatrice Melin 2008
Diet/Activity Assessment Methods Project
Project Background

The Diet/Activity Assessment Methods Project, initiated in 2008, evaluates the measurement error structure of several self-reported, Internet-based, diet and physical activity assessment tools and questionnaires (e.g., food frequency and physical activity) and compares them against reference biomarkers and activity monitors among participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, Harvard's Nurses' Health Study, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Yikyung Park and Amy Subar 2008
Gastric and Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas GWAS
Publications Project Background

This study, initiated in 2008, is conducting a GWAS in two anatomically different upper gastrointestinal cancer sites in two populations with distinctly different disease rates and genetic profiles. One population has very high rates of both esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and gastric cancer (GC) and consists of participants from East Asian countries. The other population has low rates of ESCC and GC and includes participants from the Americas, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and others. See publications here.

Christian Abnet, Alicja Wolk and others 2008
Genome-Wide Association Study of Endometrial Cancer
Project Background

Begun in 2008, this project is identifying the genes involved in endometrial cancer to help identify novel targets for endometrial cancer risk prediction, prevention, and treatment. The researchers are genotyping more than 2,600 Type I endometrial cancer cases of European descent and an equal number of controls. The effect of the SNPs that indicate genome-wide significance will be characterized in terms of body mass index, exogenous hormone use, and other established endometrial cancer risk factors. This project has been completed and a manuscript is currently under review.

Immaculata De Vivo and others 2008
Genomic Determinants of Serum Vitamin D
Project Background

Not available.

Demetrius Albanes 2008
Head and Neck Cancer Risk Factors and Risk Prediction Model Validation
Project Background

This project, established in 2012, will estimate risk ratios and attributable fractions for established and suspected head and neck cancer (HNC) risk factors. The project will validate the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) HNC risk prediction model with data from the NCI Cohort Consortium and establish the Cohort's own risk prediction model both overall and for subsites (e.g., oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx) as well as exploring other HNC risk factors such as coffee/tea intake, sexual behaviors, reproductive factors for women, and physical activity.

Yuan-Chin Amy Lee and Mia Hashibe 2012
Health Effects of Cigar, Cigarillo, Pipe, and Hookah Smoking
Project Background

This project, begun in 2012, provides precise estimates of the association between smoking of non-cigarette tobacco products (including pipe, cigarillos, cigars, and hookah) and incidence and mortality data from cancer and other chronic diseases in prospective epidemiologic studies.

Jyoti Malhotra and Paolo Boffetta 2012
Leisure Time Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Risk of Death
Project Background

Begun in 2011, the goal of this study is to identify risk of death and years of life lost or gained according to physical activity and BMI levels. This study has been completed and was published in 2012. See publication here.

Steven C. Moore, Alpa Patel and others 2011
Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project
Project Background

The Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project, begun in 2008, is evaluating data from case-control studies to better understand causes of this rare cancer. Hormonal factors and multiple exposures considered include BMI, physical activity, diet, and family history of breast cancer. Other exposures studied include alcohol consumption, liver and thyroid diseases, infertility history, and occupational exposures. Future studies may involve genetic assays and more detailed pathologic and molecular characterization of the tumors.

Susan Gapstur, Michael Cook and others 2008
Obesity and Rare Cancers
Publications Project Background

This project, including 22 prospective studies, will evaluate the relationship between anthropometric measures (e.g., height, baseline BMI, young-adult BMI, BMI change, waist and hip circumference) and the risk of four relatively uncommon malignancies: cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, head/neck, and kidney. Analyses are currently underway.

Cari Kitahara, Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, Peter Campbell, Mia Gaudet, Mark Purdue and others 2011
One-Carbon Metabolism Biomarkers and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Cohorts
Project Background

This project began in 2011 to characterize folate, particularly unmetabolized folic acid, and its association with colorectal cancer. The study will explore folate status in different populations, the dose-response relationship between plasma folate and colorectal cancer and assess the effects by demographic, lifestyle, and genetic factors. By pooling data from several NCI cohorts, the project expects to improve comparability among the blood measurements in different cohorts and provide scientific evidence to inform policies on folic acid fortification. The project has been completed and the results are available here.

Paolo Vineis and Su-Chun Chuang 2011
One-Carbon Metabolism Pathway in Relation to the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Project Background

This study, begun in 2007, assesses the association between concentrations of one-carbon metabolites in pre-diagnostic blood and the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. The study also is evaluating the modifying effect of genetic polymorphisms in the genes that are involved in one-carbon metabolites and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Laboratory measurements of serum one-carbon metabolism biomarkers, with statistical analyses, have been completed on all hepatocellular carcinoma cases and controls of the Shanghai Cohort Study.

Jian-Min Yuan and Lesley Butler 2007
Parallel and Pooled Analyses of the Current Risks from Smoking
Project Background

Background: Not available.

Michael Thun and others 2010
Pooled Analysis of Active Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk
Publications Project Background

The Pooled Analysis of Active Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk began in 2012 to address remaining inconsistencies in key methodological issues in individual studies of the relationship between active cigarette smoking and breast cancer, by analyzing pooled data from prospective cohort studies. The factors studied will include smoking duration, alcohol consumption, mammographic screening, age at menopause, BMI, socioeconomic status, reproductive patterns, and use of postmenopausal hormones, and family history of breast cancer.

Mia M. Gaudet 2011
Pooled Analysis of Multiple Myeloma Mortality in Relation to Anthropometric Characteristics
Project Background

Background: This study leveraged the collaboration network of the Multiple Myeloma Cohort Consortium (MMCC) and harmonized data resources of the BMI All-Cause Mortality Pooling Project to examine association of anthropometric measures with multiple myeloma mortality. A collaborative manuscript on anthropometric measures and mortality from multiple myeloma was published in 2014. See publication here.

Lauren Teras, Mark Purdue and Cari Kitahara 2014
Pooled Analysis of Time Since Birth and Breast Cancer Subtype
Project Background

This project, begun in 2013, pools data from prospective studies to evaluate time since birth and breast cancer risk according to tumor subtypes and pregnancy characteristics, including age and breastfeeding history. The study evaluates whether short-term increases in breast cancer risk after pregnancy are influenced by post-partum behaviors. (This study is conducted jointly with the Pooled Analysis of Risk Factors for Premenopausal Breast Cancer.)

Hazel B. Nichols 2013
Tumor Tissue Working Group
Project Background

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.

Mia Gaudet, Lorelei Mucci and Danielle Carrick 2014
Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers
Project Background

This project, initiated in 2007, is a nested case-control study that analyzed the association between 25(OH)D (serum vitamin D concentrations) and the development of seven rarer cancers: endometrial, esophageal, stomach, ovarian, pancreatic, and kidney cancers, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The study involved 10 cohorts, and participants' vitamin D levels were measured in serum collected before the development of cancer. Study findings do not support the hypothesis that circulating 25(OH) D concentrations are associated with a reduced risk of developing any of these seven rarer cancers. The results were published in 2010.

Kathy Helzlsouer, Stephanie Weinstein, Nonye Harvey and others 2007