EPIC Centres


  Background | Follow-up | Scientists | Funding 

Department of Surgery
Malmö University Hospital
Lund University
Malmö, Sweden

Biobank Research Unit
Umeå University, Sweden


Malmö: The Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) recruited a total of 28 098 participants in 1991—1996 and became associated with EPIC in 1993. Men aged 46—73 years and women aged 45—73 years were invited to participate in the study. Information on diet was obtained through a modified diet history methodology. Lifestyle, socioeconomic, and medical history information was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire. Measurements of height, weight, blood pressure, and body composition (through a bioimpedance methodology) were assessed at a physical examination. A versatile biobank with erythrocytes, granulocytes, and cryopreserved live lymphocytes has been created. DNA extraction has been performed for all participants. All former participants were sent a slightly modified questionnaire 5 years after baseline examination, and about 22 000 individuals returned completed questionnaires. As part of the baseline examination, about 6000 men and women took part in additional investigations directed towards identification of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This sub-cohort, the MDCS-CV, is currently being re-examined including the same components as for the baseline examination.

Umeå: Since 1985, all inhabitants of Västerbotten County in northern Sweden are invited to a health examination upon turning 40, 50, and 60 years of age. At the same time, they are asked to participate in the Västerbotten Intervention Project (VIP), a prospective cohort study. As of August 2013, VIP included 95 033 participants and 129 308 sampling occasions, many people having participated two or more times at 10-year intervals. Participants recruited in 1992—1996, 12 431 men and 13 294 women, are included in EPIC, although some EPIC studies have used the entire VIP cohort.

At recruitment, each participant donates a fasting blood sample, with plasma (three 1.5 ml heparin and three 1.5 ml EDTA tubes), buffy coat (two 500 µl tubes), and erythrocyte (two 1.5 ml tubes) fractions stored at —80 °C, as well as completing extensive diet and lifestyle questionnaires. At cancer diagnosis or surgery, tumour tissue is obtained from a large part of the cohort, and frozen.

Number of participants
Percentage of EPIC cohort
11 063
17 035
28 098
12 431
13 294
25 725
23 494
30 329
53 823


Malmö: Follow-up aimed at identifying new cancer cases and deaths is based on national and local registries. By the end of 2008, 5795 incident cancer events had been diagnosed and more than 4392 former participants had died in the MDCS.

Umeå: Follow-up aimed at identifying new cancer cases, other diseases, and deaths is based on essentially complete national and local registries. By the end of 2012, 2994 incident cancer events and 2230 deaths had occurred among the VIP/EPIC participants recruited in 1992—1996.



Principal Investigator
Professor Jonas Manjer
Department of Surgery
Skåne University Hospital
Lund University
Co-Investigator or Study Coordinator
Professor Olle Melander
Department of Clinical Sciences
Lund University
Database Managers
Senior Data Manager Anders Dahlin
Department of Clinical Sciences
Lund University
Biobank/Sample handling and care
Project Coordinator Kerstin Andersson
Department of Clinical Sciences
Lund University


Principal Investigator
Mattias Johansson
Staff Scientist, Co-PI Cancer

Principal Investigator
Malin Sund
Professor, Co-PI Cancer
Principal Investigator
Göran Hallmans
Professor, PI Other Diseases and Legal Matters
Study Coordinator
Ingegerd Johansson
Professor, Study Coordinator, Diet
Anna Winkvist
Professor, Study Coordinator, Diet
Bethany van Guelpen
Assistant Professor, Cancer; Diet
Database Manager
Åsa Ågren
Area Manager Projects and Database


Financial support is provided by:
  • Swedish Research Council, BBMRI.se
  • Umeå University
  • Västerbotten County Council