About EPIC

Cohort Description

EPIC in 2010

From the recruitment of study participants in 1992 – 1999 until 2009, the cohort accumulated more than 6 million person-years (PY). More than 47 000 EPIC participants were diagnosed with cancer (Table 1), including about 13 000 cases of breast cancer, 3500 of lung cancer, 5300 of colorectal cancer, and 5100 of prostate cancer. Also, 37 000 deaths were reported, and 8500 participants developed at least two incident morbid conditions (including cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases), thus allowing investigation of co-morbidities.

Table 1. Number of incident cancers and deaths in EPIC in 2010

Sex Country N Person-Years No. of incident cancers No. of incident deaths
Women France 74 524 1 103 492 7313 4038
Italy 32 577 394 213 2594 978
Spain 25 808 352 213 1466 775
United Kingdom 60 970 775 025 5141 5001
Netherlands 29 751 379 272 2607 1843
Greece 16 614 159 377 577 833
Germany 30 255 341 989 2101 991
Sweden 30 329 422 044 3400 2507
Denmark 29 875 352 610 3658 2190
Norway 37 200 406 473 2357 975
Total 367 903 4 686 708 31 214 20 131
Men France 0 0 0 0
Italy 15 168 188 503 1268 730
Spain 15 630 209 831 1421 1197
United Kingdom 26 917 335 112 3160 4586
Netherlands 10 260 130 580 563 543
Greece 11 947 106 722 560 1313
Germany 22 833 253 868 2342 1845
Sweden 23 494 320 353 3406 3273
Denmark 27 178 311 900 3591 3359
Norway 0 0 0 0
Total 153 427 1 856 869 16 311 16 846

EPIC in 2016

By 2015, the number of cancers that may develop in the cohort is projected to increase to more than 96 000 and will include approximately 25 000 cases of breast cancer, 12 000 of colorectal cancer, 8000 of lung cancer, 10 000 of prostate cancer, 2000 of gastro-intestinal cancer, 4400 of bladder cancer, 2500 of pancreatic cancer, 3700 of endometrial cancer, 1000 of liver cancer, and 1300 of thyroid cancer (Table 2). The large number of incident cancer cases with prospectively collected lifestyle data and blood specimens will allow EPIC to address state-of-the-art hypotheses about the etiology and prevention of several forms of common and rarer cancers.

Table 2. Sex-specific expected frequency of major cancer sites available by 2016

Sex Breast Colorectal Lung Prostate Stomach All cancers
Men 0 4907 4152 10 771 1198 32 334
Women 24 899 7669 3852 0 1010 64 242
Total 24 899 12 576 8004 10 771 2208 96 576

Estimated cumulative number of cancer cases (2001-2015)

All cancers

Stomach cancer

Breast cancer

Lung cancer

Prostate cancer

Colon-rectum cancer