EPIC working groups

The Reproducibility of Biomarkers Working Group

Biomarkers, including nutritional factors and endogenous hormones, are important topics of research in relation to the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. EPIC has published numerous results based on biomarkers measured in nested case—control studies, based on measurements made in one blood sample from each participant. The interpretation of these results can be enhanced by conducting reproducibility studies to quantify the reliability over time of measures from one blood sample1.

The Reproducibility of Biomarkers Working Group has established a programme of research to measure selected biomarkers in blood samples collected at recruitment into EPIC and in second blood samples collected some years later from the same participants. As of early 2014, the biomarkers under investigation are sex hormones, insulin-like growth factors, B vitamins, vitamin D, and metabolic profile assessed by targeted mass spectroscopy. Some results have already been published from the EPIC-Netherlands group2.

Selected publications

  1. Clarke R et al. Underestimation of risk associations due to regression dilution in long-term follow-up of prospective studies. Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Aug 15;150(4):341-53. PMID: 10453810

  2. Al-Delaimy WK et al. Reliability of biomarkers of iron status, blood lipids, oxidative stress, vitamin D, C-reactive protein and fructosamine in two Dutch cohorts. Biomarkers. 2006 Jul-Aug;11(4):370-82. PMID: 16908443

Contact details/Working Group leader

Timothy Key, DPhil
Cancer Epidemiology Unit
University of Oxford
Oxford OX3 7LF
United Kingdom