NetherLands Cohort Study (NLCS)

The Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) on Diet and Cancer is a prospective cohort study among 120,852 Dutch men and women, which was initiated in 1986 to investigate the relationship between nutritional and other lifestyle factors on one hand and risk of various cancers on the other hand.

The principal aim is to investigate in detail the role and interaction of nutritional, lifestyle and genetic risk factors in the etiology of cancer (many sites). For several cancers, molecular subtypes defined by somatic mutations are used as endpoints.

General Information

NetherLands Cohort Study
Study Start Year: 
Study End Year: 

General Design

Study design: 
Cohort study
General Information on Follow Up (profile and frequency): 

Follow-up is carried out through record linkage with cancer registry and pathology registry. Latest follow-up date is 31 December 2006.

Recruitment target: 
Target number of participants: 
120 852
Target number of participants with biological samples: 
90 000
Supplementary information about target number of participants: 

The NLCS study collected the following biospecimens at baseline: 

  • DNA: 23 000 participants
  • Nail: 90 000 participants

The NLCS study collected the following biospecimens at follow up:

  • Tissues: 1 150 participants

Of which:

  • CRC tumours: 700 participants
  • RCC tumours: 450 participants


Access to external researchers or third parties provided or foreseen for
Data (questionnaire-derived, measured...): 
Biological samples: 
Yes -


Marker Paper

Marker paper: 
A large-scale prospective cohort study on diet and cancer in The Netherlands. Van den Brandt PA et al. J Clin Epidemiol 1990
Pubmed ID: 

Supplementary Information

Endpoints (N incident cases)

Head and Neck (C00-C14; C31, C32) = 750
Esophagus (C15) = 463
Stomach (C16) = 1036
Colorectal (C18-21) = 4700
Liver (C22) = 117
Gallbladder (C23-24) = 218
Pancreas (C25) = 876
Lung (C33-34) = 3913
Breast (C50) = 3390
Cervix (C53) = 118
Corpus uteri (C54) = 579
Ovary (C56-57) = 575
Prostate (C61) = 4452
Total cancers (C00-C97) excluding non-melanoma skin cancer = NA

Cardiovascular endpoints
Acute coronary events = NA
Stroke = NA

Other endpoints
Type II diabetes (E11) = NA


A detailed list of incident cancer cases can be downloaded from the Documents section.

Although the cohort's primary goal is cancer incidence, additional information on mortality and causes of death is available.



Authorization from contributors to the BbmriLpc.IARC Catalogues: 
Piet van den Brandt authorised the contribution to BbmriLpc.IARC on Tuesday, April 29, 2014



NLCS Baseline Exposure Information Inventory...