COGS – Collaborative Oncological Gene-Environment Study

The central focus of the COGS (Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study) project is to define individual risk of breast-, ovarian- and prostate cancer. Established datasets from studies from all over the world where patients with one of these three cancers as well as healthy controls have been identified are harmonized in cancer-specific consortia.

The strength of the consortia participating in the COGS project, BCAC for breast cancer, CIMBA/IBCCS for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, OCAC for sporadic ovarian cancer and PRACTICAL for prostate cancer, is the availability of data on genetic loci particularly those that have already been shown to be associated with cancer risks, in combination with information on lifestyle/environmental risk factors. Data on potential genetic as well as environmental risk factors are currently available for approximately 61,000 cases of breast cancer and 69,000 controls (BCAC), 10,000 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers (CIMBA/IBCCS), 16,500 cases of ovarian cancer and 18,500 controls (OCAC) and 14,000 cases of prostate cancer and 14,000 controls (PRACTICAL). However, data collection is ongoing and even more data will be available for future investigations.

Within the COGS project, our group coordinates the work package (WP) 5, which focuses on the analysis of gene-environment interaction with the aim to assess whether the effects of established or suspected lifestyle/environmental risk factors for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer differ in subgroups classified according to genetic susceptibility. Knowledge on gene-environment interactions can be employed for improving individual risk assessment.

Cooperations: Worldwide collaborations through the different consortia (BCAC, CIMBA/IBCCS, OCAC and PRACTICAL) and with the WP5 partners, i.e. the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the National Cancer Institute Denmark and the University of Warwick.

Funding: European Commission 7th Framework Programme

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