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Cancer Causes Control. 2010 May;21(5):649-56. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9498-5. Epub 2010 Jan 9.

Ensuring long-term sustainability of existing cohorts remains the highest priority to inform cancer prevention and control.


The case for continued follow-up of existing cohorts arises from the key attributes of cohorts that are already meeting the goals proposed by Potter for the creation of a new cohort. These attributes include the basic nature of ongoing cohorts in that they are, by design, hypothesis-driven and must adapt to emerging technologies over time. Importantly, cohort investigators must identify and address gaps in knowledge that will inform public health strategies and clinical practices. Above all, cohorts must capitalize on their unique features to address public health priorities and inform our prevention strategies. Continued follow-up adds substantial return on investment to guide cancer prevention.

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