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Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research

Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research

Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner


The Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research Division’s main areas of research include clinical cancer epidemiology, epidemiology of chronic age-related diseases and epidemiological methods. In the field of clinical cancer epidemiology, the group conducts large-scale epidemiological studies on new avenues of more effective cancer prevention and early detection, and on issues of the quality of medical care, prognosis and quality of life of cancer patients. Further large-scale epidemiological studies focuses on detection of risk factors, risk markers and prognostic factors of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and arthritis, thereby aiming to explore new avenues of enhanced prevention and management of these common and strongly age-related diseases. Most of the Division’s studies are conducted in interdisciplinary, oftentimes international collaborations with cancer registries, clinical partners and partners from basic research. Apart from the application of the highest methodological standards in these studies, a major area of research conducted in the Division is devoted to further development and enhancement of methods in epidemiological research.

The Division will expand its research on early detection and screening for colorectal cancer to focus on questions of high relevance to the implementation of early detection programs at the population level.
Future research in early detection and screening will also be directed towards other gastrointestinal cancers. Due to demographic aging, along with steadily increasing cancer survival rates, the number and prevalence of cancer survivors in the population will continue to increase. The Division will therefore intensify its research on additional outcomes, such as quality of life, and the occupational and social participation of cancer survivors. An area of increasing interest in aging research will be to enhance the empirical evidence for preventive and therapeutic interventions in old age. Epidemiological aging research in the Division will increasingly address integrative and functional endpoints that have received comparatively little attention thus far, such as indicators of multi-morbidity and frailty, or indicators of functional limitations, as these are often more relevant for the elderly than single medical diagnoses. The Division will also contribute its expertise in recruitment and follow-up of population-based cohorts, including the areas of clinical epidemiology, aging research and epidemiological methods of the National Cohort, where 200,000 older adults are to be recruited in 2014-2018 and followed up many years afterwards.


Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner
Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research (C070)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42 1301
Fax: +49 6221 42 1302

Selected Publications

  • Brenner H, Heisser T, Cardoso R, Hoffmeister M. Reduction in colorectal cancer incidence by screening endoscopy. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2024;21(2):125-133.
  • Cardoso R, Guo F, Heisser T, ..., Ryzhov A, Hoffmeister M, Brenner H. Colorectal cancer incidence, mortality, and stage distribution in European countries in the colorectal cancer screening era: an international population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2021;22(7):1002-1013.
  • Heisser T, Peng L, Weigl K, Hoffmeister M, Brenner H. Outcomes at follow-up of negative colonoscopy in average risk population: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2019;367:l6109.
  • Brenner H, Calderazzo S, Seufferlein T, Ludwig L, Dikopoulos N, Mangold J, Böck W, Stolz T, Eisenbach T, Block T, Kopp-Schneider A, Czock D, Tikk K. Effect of a Single Aspirin Dose Prior to Fecal Immunochemical Testing on Test Sensitivity for Detecting Advanced Colorectal Neoplasms: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2019;321(17):1686-1692.
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