CONCORD Programme

CONCORD Logo finalCONCORD is a global programme for surveillance of cancer survival, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in partnership with IARC. It is supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) as a programme of strategic significance for the World Cancer Declaration. The CONCORD programme is endorsed by 31 national and international agencies, including WHO EURO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

The CONCORD Steering Committee includes scientists and cancer patients from 14 countries, with expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer registration and public health.

CONCORD Working Group member? Password log-in here : CONCORD Working Group login

Why global surveillance of cancer survival?

The global burden of cancer is growing, especially in countries of low and middle income. Hence, the need for effective strategies of primary prevention is urgent. Prevention is crucial, but long-term. WHO‘s global target of a 25% reduction in deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases in people aged 30–69 years by 2025 (“25 × 25”), requires not just more effective prevention to reduce incidence, but also more effective health systems to improve survival.

Global surveillance of cancer incidence (IARC) and cancer mortality (WHO) has been in progress for over 50 years. The CONCORD-2 study has now initiated global surveillance of cancer survival, the third key metric of cancer control.

Information on the survival of all cancer patients in a population enables comparison of the effectiveness of health systems. Long-term surveillance will contribute to the evidence base for global policy on cancer control. CONCORD will monitor progress towards the overarching goal of the UICC World Cancer Declaration 2013: “major reductions in premature deaths from cancer, and improvements in quality of life and cancer survival”. This should greatly improve prospects for global cancer control.

The first CONCORD study

The first CONCORD study, published in The Lancet Oncology (2008), was the first global comparison of population-based cancer survival. It showed wide variation in survival from cancers of the breast (women), colon, rectum and prostate among 1.9 million adults diagnosed during 1990-1994 and followed up to 1999 in 31 countries (16 with national coverage).


The CONCORD-2 study, published in The Lancet (2015), extended coverage to 25.7 million adults (15-99 years) diagnosed during the 15 years 1995-2009 with a cancer of the stomach, colon, rectum, liver, lung, breast (women), cervix, ovary or prostate, or leukaemia, and 75,000 children (0-14 years) with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Individual data on all these patients were submitted by 279 population-based cancer registries in 67 countries – 40 with national coverage of their population. Patients were followed up to 31 December 2009.

The 10 cancers examined in CONCORD-2 represent two-thirds (63%) of the overall cancer burden in both low- and middle- income, and high-income countries. The 67 participating countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s population.

 CONCORD Central Analytic Team

Prof. Michel P Coleman

Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics

Dr. Claudia Allemani

Senior Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology

Dr. Audrey Bonaventure

Clinical Lecturer

Helena Carreira

Research Fellow

Rhea Harewood

Research Fellow

Kenwin Liu

Data Manager

Devon Spika

Research Fellow

 CONCORD Administrative Team

Natalia Sanz

Programme Manager

Courtenay Howe

Administrative Assistant

Participating countries and regions


Detailed maps for 28 world regions are in the web appendix to the CONCORD-2 article (web-figures 1.1-1.28, pages 112-140)

Quality control and analysis

Standardised quality control procedures were applied. Errors were corrected by the registry concerned. Five-year net survival estimates were adjusted for background mortality by single year of age, sex, calendar year, and where possible, race, for each country or region. Survival estimates were age-standardised with the International Cancer Survival Standard weights.

Main findings

Five-year survival from colon, rectal and breast cancers has increased in most developed countries. Liver and lung cancer remain lethal in most countries. Striking increases in prostate cancer survival have occurred in many countries, but trends vary widely. The range in cervical and ovarian cancer survival is very wide, but there have been slight improvements. In Eastern Asia, stomach cancer survival is very high, but survival for adult and childhood leukaemia is remarkably low. The global range in survival from childhood leukaemia is very wide, suggesting major deficiencies in the management of what is now considered to be a largely curable disease.


For administrative enquiries, contact CONCORD Programme Manager Natalia Sanz, or CONCORD Administrator Courtenay Howe.
For scientific enquiries, the CONCORD Central Analytic Team.

The CONCORD programme has been funded by the following agencies:

cruk_logo   centers_for_disease_control_and_prevention_logo   swiss_re_logo   cancer_institute_nsw_logocanadian_partnership_against_cancer_logo        krebsliga_schweiz_logo        krebsforschung_schweiz_logo                cancer_focus_northern_ireland_logo                                      Fondation de France

and endorsed by:

oecd50_logo        iarc_logo       uicc_logo        iaea_pact_logo        nci_logo mac_logo  Canadian Cancer Registry  ecco_logo naaccr_logo capca_logoicdc_logo Canadian Council of Cancer Registries ncrn_logo  inctr_logo  kraftens_bekaempelse_logo european_institute_of_women_s_health_logo       nicer_logo  British Embassy Algiers  istitvto_svperiore_di_santa_logo  jolanta_kwasniewska_s_foundation_logo     children_with_cancer_uk_logo       wbank_logoB

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