The number of epidemiological studies involving biological markers has dramatically increased over the last few years. These studies are generally small sized and this feature has called attention to the need to summarize the individual results, while waiting for the completion of larger studies, designed to answer questions that have been raised by preliminary studies. An increasingly frequent approach is the pooled analysis of published (existing) data, which seems to provide a relevant improvement over meta-analysis in molecular epidemiology studies. The presentation will address some of the methodological issues related to pooling data of biomarker studies, taking advantage of the experience accumulated by pooled analyses of data coming from large international collaborative studies such as ESCH, HUMN, HUMNxl, and ComNet. Topics that will be discussed in more detail are: data standardization, population selection and bias, statistical analysis, ethical issues.


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  • Received: 08 May 2012
  • Accepted: 08 May 2012
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