The National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium: An International Pooling Collaboration of 58 Cohorts from 20 Countries

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Nov;27(11):1307-1319. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0182. Epub 2018 Jul 17.


Cohort studies have been central to the establishment of the known causes of cancer. To dissect cancer etiology in more detail-for instance, for personalized risk prediction and prevention, assessment of risks of subtypes of cancer, and assessment of small elevations in risk-there is a need for analyses of far larger cohort datasets than available in individual existing studies. To address these challenges, the NCI Cohort Consortium was founded in 2001. It brings together 58 cancer epidemiology cohorts from 20 countries to undertake large-scale pooling research. The cohorts in aggregate include over nine million study participants, with biospecimens available for about two million of these. Research in the Consortium is undertaken by >40 working groups focused on specific cancer sites, exposures, or other research areas. More than 180 publications have resulted from the Consortium, mainly on genetic and other cancer epidemiology, with high citation rates. This article describes the foundation of the Consortium; its structure, governance, and methods of working; the participating cohorts; publications; and opportunities. The Consortium welcomes new members with cancer-oriented cohorts of 10,000 or more participants and an interest in collaborative research. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(11); 1307-19. ©2018 AACR.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
  • Neoplasms* / etiology
  • United States