Mapping of drugs and cancer

This large-scale, registry-based project will investigate whether drugs are associated with cancer incidence. The project will also develop a statistical tool for monitoring prescription drugs with regard to cancer risk.

Last updated: 24.04.2019


Several studies have shown that there may be a link between some prescription drugs and cancer risk. However, because of the long follow-up time required to identify these associations, it is difficult to study this with traditional pharmaepidemiological methods. The aim of this project is to investigate all combinations of drugs and cancers, and look at both cancer incidence and cancer survival. 

Study design and data material

The data material in this study mainly consists of data from the Norwegian Prescription Database and the Cancer Registry. The data material will consist of approximately 200 000 cancer cases from 2007-2015. Additional data are retrieved from Statistics Norway, the Medical Birth Registry and the Norwegian Patient Registry (see figure below).



Andreassen BK, Støer NC, Martinsen JI, Ursin G, Weiderpass E, Thoresen GH, Debernard KB, Karlstad Ø, Pottegard A,         Friis S (2019)
Identification of potential carcinogenic and chemopreventive effects of prescription drugs: a protocol for a Norwegian registry-based study
BMJ Open, 9 (4) e028504
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028504, PubMed 30962244


Read more about the Cancer Registry's research on medicines here.