Aug 11

The Future of Epidemiology in the Age of Precision Medicine: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, and Beyond

We live in the era of “Big Data.” Evaluating the health impact of large scale biological, social, and environmental data is an emerging challenge. Epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of human disease in populations, is a foundational science of public health and provides important insights for medical practice and disease prevention. Epidemiology has …

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Jul 31

Understanding the Function of Cancer Risk Variants: Challenges and Opportunities

During the past decade, more than 1,700 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100,000 risk variants associated with various traits and complex common diseases, including hundreds of genetic variants that have small effects on cancer risk. Most of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are located in regions of the genome whose function remains …

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Oct 28

Paths Forward in Infection-Related Epidemiologic Cancer Research

“It would not be surprising if viral infections were eventually shown to be an essential factor in the production of various types of cancer…” We estimate that about 10% of cancer deaths could be attributable to infectious agents. Based on Doll and Peto, 1981.   Our understanding of the infection-cancer associations has grown since Doll …

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May 15

Integrating Host and Tumor Genome Data Holds Promise for Understanding Cancer Risk

Cancer is a disease of two genomes—the host, or germline genome, and the tumor, or somatic genome—and extensive data have been generated from both genomes. Most studies of cancer risk focus on the germline genome to identify potential cancer risk variants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). More recently, whole genome or whole exome approaches have …

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Mar 24

How Can We Leverage Existing Resources for Discovery and Validation of Markers for Early Cancer Detection?

Despite the large investment in biomarker discovery and validation, few major early detection cancer biomarkers have been approved for clinical use over the last 25 years. In addition, many initially promising biomarkers have not been validated.  One issue is that biomarker discovery and validation has typically occurred in studies that were initially designed with different …

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Jan 03

We Have Come a Long Way: The 2013 Annual Meeting of the NCI Cohort Consortium

On November 18-19, 2013, the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) hosted the annual meeting of the NCI Cohort Consortium. More than 140 investigators and researchers, representing over 30 domestic …

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Dec 05

The Continued Importance of Research in Gene-Environment Interactions in 21st Century Epidemiology

Cancer risk is determined by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. To understand this interplay, epidemiologic studies need to consider the effects of gene-environment (GxE) interactions. In 2012, the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) launched an ongoing effort to transform 21st century epidemiology. Studies of GxE interactions should be part of this …

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