Molecular markers for early detection of cancer follow-up

Project No. IPA 144




Follow-up of the MoMar cohort to identify diseases and causes of death as well as to confirm initial diagnoses. Use of the MoMar cohort for the validation of additional biomarkers and their combinations (marker panels) for the early detection of asbestos-associated mesotheliomas and lung tumors. Evaluation to what extent the validated marker panels could be used in the surveillance programs of secondary prevention offered by the UVT and GVS.


The MoMar project (2008 to 2017) recruited a large prospective cohort of 2,767 asbestos-exposed patients with recognized asbestosis, a high-risk collective for asbestos-associated lung tumors and mesotheliomas, who participated in annual medical examinations. The cohort is to be observed for at least another two years in order to identify as many cancer cases as possible by means of research into the causes of disease and death. In addition, all cancer diagnoses that have not yet been verified must be checked by screening medical records so that a reliable evaluation is possible. Serial blood samples from over 12,000 examinations are available. The successful preliminary biomarker results show that although individual biomarkers achieve the required high specificity, their sensitivity is not sufficient to detect an adequate number of cancers. Rather, combinations of several markers in so-called marker panels are necessary to detect cancers with high sensitivity. Therefore, additional suitable biomarker candidates are required, which can then be validated with the available, completed MoMar cohort. For this purpose, up to 10 new markers per panel (mesotheliomas or lung tumors) are developed and statistically evaluated (sensitivity, specificity, confounders, development of panel combinations).

Last Update:

12 Nov 2021


Financed by:
  • Institut für Prävention und Arbeitsmedizin der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung - Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA)
Research institution(s):
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
  • Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Mexico
  • National School of Public Health, Athen, Griechenland

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


prevention, occupational medical prevention

Description, key words:

early detection of cancer, hazardous substances, asbestos,