Global priorities for large-scale biomarker-based prospective cohorts.
Collins R., Balaconis MK., Brunak S., Chen Z., De Silva M., Gaziano JM., Ginsburg GS., Jha P., Kuri P., Metspalu A., Mulder N., Risch N.
The focus of this paper is on strategic approaches for establishing population-based prospective cohorts that collect and store biological samples from very large numbers of participants to help identify the determinants of common health outcomes. In particular, it aims to address key issues related to investigation of genetic, as well as social, environmental, and ancestral, diversity; generation of detailed genetic and other types of assay data; collection of detailed lifestyle and environmental exposure information; follow-up and characterization of incident health outcomes; and overcoming obstacles to data sharing and access (including capacity building). It concludes that there is a need for strategic planning at an international level (rather than the current ad hoc approach) toward the development of a carefully selected set of deeply characterized large-scale prospective cohorts that are readily accessible by researchers around the world.