Translational Cancer Epidemiology Unit

Each year, more than 480,000 people in Germany are diagnosed with cancer and more than 230,000 people die from the disease. Estimates suggest that at least one-third of cancers are attributable to an unhealthy lifestyle and are therefore preventable. However, the potential of primary prevention is currently underutilized. For some cancers (e.g., colorectal, breast, cervical cancer), early detection measures (secondary prevention) offer the opportunity to detect the disease at a curable (pre)stage, but also in this respect, there is still need of improvement, especially with regard to the effective implementation of the measures on the population level.

The unit is focusing on the (further) development and evaluation of strategies to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in order to further exploit the potential of primary and secondary prevention of cancer. For example, using the Pharmacoepidemiologic Research Database (GePaRD), we investigate the utilization and effectiveness of mammography screening for the early detection of breast cancer and of colonoscopy screening for the early detection of colorectal cancer in Germany. For the investigation of effectiveness of these programs, we use the "target trial emulation" (TTE) approach in collaboration with the Department of Biometry and Data Management (GeTTCausal). In addition, we are coordinating an interdepartmental project as part of the National Decade against Cancer. The aim of this project is to establish Bremen as a model region for applied cancer prevention research. We are also working on questions concerning the utilization of cancer therapeutics in real-world healthcare settings in Germany as well as on the potential of the combined use of cancer registry and health insurance data.

"Current Projects" provides examples of some of the projects carried out by the unit.

Selected Publications

    Articles with peer review

  • Hornschuch M, Schwarz S, Haug U. 10-year prevalence of diagnostic and screening colonoscopy use in Germany: A claims data analysis. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2022;31(6):497-504.
  • Heinig M, Schwarz S, Haug U. Self-selection for mammography screening according to use of hormone replacement therapy: A systematic literature review. Cancer Epidemiology. 2021;71(Part A):101812.
  • Schwarz S, Schäfer W, Horenkamp-Sonntag D, Liebentraut J, Haug U. Follow-up of 3 million persons undergoing colonoscopy in Germany: Utilization of repeat colonoscopies and polypectomies within 10 years. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology. 2021;12(1):e00279. (Erratum: Schwarz S, Schäfer W, Horenkamp-Sonntag D, Liebentraut J, Haug U. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology. 2024;15(2):e00677.
  • Heinig M, Braitmaier M, Haug U. Prescribing of menopausal hormone therapy in Germany: Current status and changes between 2004 and 2016. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2021;30(4):462-471.
  • Langner I, Ohlmeier C, Zeeb H, Haug U, Riedel O. Individual mortality information in the German Pharmacoepidemiological Research Database (GePaRD): A validation study using a record linkage with a large cancer registry. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e028223.
  • Czwikla J, Giersiepen K, Langner I, Enders D, Heinze F, Rothgang H, Haug U, Zeeb H, Hense H-W. A cohort study of mammography screening finds that comorbidity measures are insufficient for controlling selection bias. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2018;104:1-7.
  • Oppelt KA, Haug U. Schmerztherapie bei Darmkrebspatienten - Längsschnittanalysen auf Versichertendaten basierend. Der Onkologe. 2018;24(11):848-860.
  • Articles without peer review

  • Rischke N, Schwarz S, Haug U. Anwendung von Immuncheckpointinhibitoren in der Therapie von Lungenkrebs. Der Onkologe. 2021;27(11):1049-1057.


Heinig, Miriam, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56881
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Hornschuch, Michel
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56815
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821

Kaiser, Yvonne
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56843

Kanbach, Josephine
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56785
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821

Langner, Ingo, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56867
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Rischke, Nikolaj
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56885
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Schwarz, Sarina, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56884
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Sarina Schwarz

Dr. Sarina Schwarz
Tel: +49 (0)421 218-56884
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821