Cancer Registry follow-up for 17 million person-years of a nationwide maternity cohort

Cancer Med. 2017 Dec;6(12):3060-3064. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1222. Epub 2017 Oct 25.


Population-based Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC) comprises 2M first trimester sera collected from 1M women during 33 years. Informed consent is by the opt-out principle, and linkages with cancer and population registries provide a base for over time and over generation studies. Follow-up for 17M person-years by the end of 2014 can identify 39,700 cases of invasive cancer and 18,900 cases of premalignant breast and cervix lesions, and basal cell carcinoma diagnosed after serum sampling. For women with multiple pregnancies, serial samples taken before cancer diagnosis are available. Offspring of the women have developed more than 4000 cancers. For 100,000 individuals, samples taken during the pregnancies of both their mothers and grandmothers enable familial cancer studies. FMC continues to collect samples, and surveillance of exposures or interventions like vaccination programs is feasible. In summary, the FMC is a unique, accessible biobank for epidemiological, biomarker, and surveillance studies on cancer.

Keywords: Biobank; cancer causes; cohort; epidemiology; tumor markers.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasms / blood*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood*
  • Registries*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Banks*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor