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Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology: Michael Hauptmann

The Biostatistics group in the Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology concentrates on methodological and statistical research and collaborates on several international epidemiological and clinical studies with cancer, cardiovascular disease and psychological outcomes. The group also runs the Biostatistics Center which provides statistical expertise to investigators in both the Netherlands Cancer Institute as well as the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital on diverse topics from all areas of biomedical cancer research. The main research interests are as follows.

Statistical methods for the evaluation of health effects from medical radiation exposure

Incorporation of dose distributions is currently not standard in epidemiologic studies of radiotherapy-related second cancer risk. It is expected to yield more efficient and less biased estimates of the dose-response relationship as well as better risk predictions for clinical use. We characterize statistical methods incorporating dose distributions in the organ at risk for a second tumor with regard to efficiency and bias, and describe risk predictions for second cancers following current radiotherapy, calculated by these statistical methods.

In a large retrospective cohort study of children who underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan, we evaluate subsequent risk of cancer due to the radiation exposure. Within the European EPI-CT and MEDIRAD consortia, pooled data form several European countries are jointly analyzed.

Design and statistical analysis of clinical studies for predictive marker evaluation

We assess statistical designs and methods for the evaluation of predictive markers in observational clinical studies or trials with archived specimens. The designs include case-only and hybrid approaches, and we employ additive and multiplicative models. We investigate the required sample size and statistical power as well as other operational characteristics based on simulated data and application to data from breast cancer trials.

Prediction of risks for cancer and cardiovascular disease among cancer survivors

Statistical methods are investigated to jointly use cohort and case-control data for risk prediction, to validate predictions, and to tailor the released information to the personal risk perception of the patient or the doctor.

Evaluating latency of chronic exposures

If exposure data in an epidemiologic study are available as an exposure history (e.g., annual average intensities), a latency function can be estimated describing the relative risk per unit exposure by time since exposure (Hauptmann et al. 2000). As an example, consider lung cancer mortality and occupational exposure to radon gas from a study of Colorado Plateau Uranium Miners (Hauptmann et al. 2001). Click here for EPICURE code for fitting latency models using B-splines for case-control data (conditional/unconditional logistic regression) or cohort data (Cox regression).

Basic Medical Statistics Course

The Biostatistics group offers the Basic Medical Statistics Course annually. This full week course explains statistical techniques for the evaluation of biomedical data. It provides an introduction into design aspects, methods of summarizing and presenting data, estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, including multivariable regression methods for the assessment of association. For more information, click here.


Roberti, Sander

Sander Roberti

PhD student


Mr Sander Roberti obtained a Master's degree in Mathematics from Radboud University Nijmegen in 2017. His master's thesis compared different statistical methods for analysing the treatment effect using clinical trials with multiple post-treatment measurements. In December 2017, he joined the Netherlands Cancer Institute as a PhD student. His project focuses on developing methods to assess the cancer risk from therapeutic radiation exposure, incorporating data on the spatial distribution of the radiation dose in the target organ. 

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Recent publications View All Publications

  • Increased pancreatic cancer risk following radiotherapy for testicular cancer.

    Br J Cancer. 2016 Sep 27;115(7):901-8. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.272

    Hauptmann M, Børge Johannesen T, Gilbert ES, Stovall M, van Leeuwen FE, Rajaraman P, Smith SA, Weathers RE, Aleman BM, Andersson M, Curtis RE, Dores GM, Fraumeni JF Jr, Hall P, Holowaty EJ, Joensuu H, Kaijser M, Kleinerman RA, Langmark F, Lynch CF, Pukkala E, Storm HH, Vaalavirta L, van den Belt-Dusebout AW, Morton LM, Fossa SD, Travis LB.

    Link to PubMed
  • Ovarian Stimulation for In Vitro Fertilization and Long-term Risk of Breast Cancer

    JAMA. 2016 Jul 19;316(3):300-12. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.9389.

    van den Belt-Dusebout AW, Spaan M, Lambalk CB, Kortman M, Laven JS, van Santbrink EJ, van der Westerlaken LA, Cohlen BJ, Braat DD, Smeenk JM, Land JA, Goddijn M, van Golde RJ, van Rumste MM, Schats R, Józwiak K, Hauptmann M, Rookus MA, Burger CW, van Leeuwen FE.

    Link to PubMed


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