An environmental scan of biopsychosocial and clinical variables in cohort studies of cancer survivors

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention








©2019 American Association for Cancer Research. Background: An inventory of cancer survivorship cohorts is necessary to identify important gaps in what is being studied among cancer survivors. Methods: We conducted an environmental scan of cancer survivor cohorts to determine the scope and scale of information collected on demographic, biopsychosocial, and selected clinical variables from cancer survivors. Cohorts were eligible for inclusion in the environmental scan if the study was conducted in the United States, reported in English, and consisted of data collected from cancer survivors postdiagnosis and followed for at least 1 year. Results: Out of the 131 cohorts identified, 62 were eligible. There were 23 cancer sites represented, and more than half of the studies included breast cancer survivors (n ¼ 34). The next most commonly included cancers were leukemia (n ¼ 22) and lymphoma (n ¼ 23). The majority (n ¼ 59) collected information on clinical characteristics and basic diagnostic information, patient demographic characteristics (n ¼ 57), patient-reported symptoms (n ¼ 44), lifestyle (n ¼ 45), and psychologic characteristics (n ¼ 42). Half collected biospecimens (n ¼ 35) and biomarkers (n ¼ 35); fewer collected CAM use (n ¼ 19) and social characteristics (n ¼ 27). Conclusions: Extensive data are available in cancer cohorts to study important questions relevant to cancer survivors. Cohorts should consider collecting information on social and environmental factors, as well as biospecimen collection and biomarker analyses, and should include survivors from cancer sites less likely to be studied. Impact: This information can assist researchers in understanding the types of information currently being gathered from cancer survivors for further analysis and identify areas where more research is needed.

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