Newsletter No. 12 – 11 May 2016

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We issued the call for data on Wednesday 11 May 2016. The data specification is available with your password from the CONCORD website, here.

CONCORD-3 will update global surveillance of cancer survival trends to include patients diagnosed as recently as 2010-14, with follow-up to 31 December 2014.

We will analyse world-wide trends in net survival from 2000 to 2014, and geographic variation between 70 or more countries.

CONCORD-3 will include 15 malignancies that represent 75% of the global cancer burden: oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, lung, melanoma, breast (women), cervix, ovary and prostate in adults (15-99 years), and brain tumours, lymphomas and leukaemias in both adults and children (0-14 years).

Where adequate data are available, we will examine survival by stage at diagnosis, by morphology, and by race or ethnicity, as well as by age and sex.

Many of you told us that the data quality reports for CONCORD-2 helped improve your data. We will update and extend these programs and the quality control reports that we provide to each registry.

In a global study of this scale, good communication is vital. For CONCORD-2 we provided the data specification in four languages. For CONCORD-3, we will provide the data specification in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

We can communicate with you in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Where possible, we will hold webinars or face-to-face workshops to discuss the protocol with you, as we did in Argentina, China, Brazil, India, Japan, Puerto Rico, Russia and the USA for CONCORD-2.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with you as we bring the world-wide surveillance of cancer survival up to date.

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CONCORD Working Group and Steering Committee

Changes in CONCORD Working Group membership

We recently asked you to update or re-confirm your contact details, and to inform us about your main fields of expertise. This will help us communicate with you more efficiently, and to be able to contact you with specific queries or requests.

If you have not yet provided this information for your registry, please go here.

New Steering Committee member and departures
We welcome a new member of the Steering Committee, who joined in late 2015:

  • Dr Roberto Zanetti, Director of the Piedmont Cancer Registry, Turin and President of the International Association of Cancer Registries

We bid farewell to two members of the Steering Committee who have been with us since the start of the CONCORD programme:

  • Dr Jean-Michel Lutz (France) has worked in cancer registries in the USA, the UK, France, Switzerland and Uruguay. He brought his unparalleled experience of cancer registration and research with registry data as an ever-present adviser to CONCORD, since the pilot for the first study in January 2000.
  • Professor John Young (USA) is one of the fathers of the US SEER programme, and a renowned expert on cancer epidemiology, cancer registration, and the classifications for oncology and cancer staging. He has been a tireless supporter and advocate for the CONCORD programme since the very first meetings in Atlanta and Lisbon in 1999.

Mumbai, India
We held an informal meeting with Steering Committee members who attended the International Association of Cancer Registries conference in Mumbai, India, on 9 October 2015.

St Louis MO, USA
Will you be in St Louis in June? We have arranged an informal meeting of CONCORD Working Group members attending the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries conference in Saint Louis, Missouri, 11-16 June 2016.

The meeting will be held at 1700h on Wednesday 15 June 2016; the precise location will be announced later, with further details about the meeting. We are grateful for the assistance of NAACCR executives Betsy Kohler and Charlie Blackburn in arranging this meeting.

Marrakech, Morocco
We have arranged a full meeting of the CONCORD Working Group during the International Association of Central Registries conference in Marrakech, Morocco, 19-21 October 2016.

The meeting will be held at 1400h on Monday, 17 October 2016; again, the precise location will be announced later. We will circulate an agenda for this meeting nearer the time. We are grateful for the assistance of IACR President Roberto Zanetti in arranging this meeting.

We will also hold a meeting of the Steering Committee at 1700h on Monday, 17 October 2016. Again, we will circulate an agenda nearer the time.

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CONCORD-2 publications

The Lancet
The summary article, published in The Lancet on 15 March 2015, has been cited more than 270 times (Google Scholar). The article is “Open Access gold”, so you can download it free of charge. The 175-page web-appendix is also Open Access gold.

Cancer atlases – on-line and interactive
Some of the CONCORD-2 survival estimates are now accessible in the American Cancer Society’s online Cancer Atlas (stomach, colon, breast, cervix and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children) and in the Global Lung Cancer Coalition’s interactive atlas. In both these atlases, you can zoom or click on a country in any map to get more details.

Life tables
Methodology: We have finally published the long-awaited paper on the Poisson regression methods developed in the Cancer Survival Group to create many of the life tables that were used for CONCORD-2, even when the raw data are sparse. The paper is now online with BMC Public Health: Rachet B, Maringe C, Woods LM, Ellis L, Spika D, Allemani C. Multivariable flexible modelling for estimating complete, smoothed life tables for sub-national populations [epub ahead of print]. BMC Public Health 2015; 15: doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2534-3.

Library of life tables: We published the library of 12,480 life tables used for CONCORD-2. The life tables cover the period 1995-2010 for 279 registry jurisdictions in 67 participating countries. You can download these life tables free of charge. The library is organised by continent, country, region (state, province, département, oblast, territory, etc.), calendar year and sex, and by race or ethnicity in selected countries. You will need to register on the Cancer Survival Group website first. This takes 2 minutes. We will then send you log-in details, and we will let you know about corrections or updates to the life tables.

Forthcoming publications
Several articles are in preparation:

  • the quality control routines we developed to manage 4,000 data sets
  • the construction of the world-wide library of life tables
  • international variation in survival as a function of macroeconomic indicators
  • 8 site-specific articles on stomach, liver, lung (2), breast, ovary (2) and childhood leukaemia

Monograph on cancer survival in the US
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is collaborating with the CONCORD team to produce a monograph on cancer survival by state, race/ethnicity and stage at diagnosis. The focus will be on public health and cancer control. 14 articles are in preparation.

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Impact on strategies for cancer control: “Cancer survival should not be left to chance”

The rationale for CONCORD includes the idea that global surveillance of cancer survival will stimulate health policy and improve equity, because “unless these avoidable inequalities are measured, and reported on regularly, nothing will be done explicitly to reduce them.”

In September 2015, the Programme for Action on Cancer Therapy (PACT – at the International Atomic Energy Agency deployed the CONCORD-2 results to launch an ambitious world-wide campaign (#CancerCare4All) to highlight the growing global divide in cancer survival, using the strapline “Cancer survival should not be left to chance”. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the persistent inequalities in access to life-saving cancer services, and to help reduce cancer-related deaths by a third by the year 2030.

The IAEA-PACT campaign shows that UN agencies do use evidence on world-wide cancer survival patterns from the CONCORD programme to inform global policy for cancer control.

Have the results from CONCORD-2 been used in the development of national cancer control strategy in your country? We would like to publish specific examples of the impact of international cancer survival comparisons on public health strategy, in collaboration with you. Please write to us at

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Global Public Health award

Dr Claudia Allemani has been honoured by the UK Faculty of Public Health with its inaugural Global Public Health Award.

The citation reads that it is for her work “on the world-wide collaboration across the CONCORD programme that initiated global surveillance of population-based cancer survival in 2015. The Faculty of Public Health recognises that global public health is an important aspect of achieving our mission of better health for all. FPH also acknowledges that many of our members and their peers contribute to this work in a variety of ways, such as promoting public health as a profession within their home countries and leading long-term development projects centred on public health. The FPH Global Public Health Award recognises the dedication of these public health professionals and rewards them for their passion for improving public health in these difficult circumstances.”

This is a personal honour for Dr Allemani, who has published an invited blog on the Faculty’s Better Health For All web-site, but we also see it as professional recognition of the importance of the CONCORD programme as a contribution to global public health.

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CONCORD web-pages

We have updated our web-site. You now have unlimited free access to a range of analytic tools for cancer survival, as well as the library of life tables.

Documents that are accessible only to CONCORD Working Group members are available on password-protected pages.

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New personnel and departures

  • Veronica di Carlo joined us as a Research Fellow in September 2015.
  • Maja Niksič  joined us as a Research Fellow in December 2015.
  • Melissa Matz joined us as a part-time Research Assistant in January 2016.
  • Lisa Montel joined us as an Administrative Assistant, in support of the CONCORD Programme Manager, Natalia Sanz, in March 2016.
  • Courtenay Howe left us for another administrative post in December 2015.
  • Helena Carreira left us to pursue a PhD in January 2016.

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Scientific meetings and conferences

We have presented findings from the CONCORD-2 study in conferences and workshops, in collaboration with colleagues in the Working Group in:

  1. International Association of Cancer Registries, 8-10 October 2015, Mumbai, India
  2. Association of European Cancer Leagues, 13 November 2015, Belfast, UK
  3. International Congress of Breast Disease Centres, 4-6 February 2016, Paris, France
  4. Groupe pour l’Enregistrement et l’épidémiologie du cancer dans les pays de Langue Latine (GRELL), 4-6 May 2016, Albi, France

More detailed findings from the CONCORD-2 study will be presented at the following conferences:

  1. 3ème Forum International sur le Cancer, Sétif, Algeria, 4-6 June 2016 – happy 30th birthday to the Cancer Registry of Sétif!
  2. North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, NAACCR, 11-16 June 2016, St. Louis MO, USA
  3. International Association for Cancer Registries (IACR), Marrakech, Morocco, 19-21 October 2016
  4. World Cancer Congress, Paris, France, 30 October – 2 November 2016

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Ethical approvals

We maintain a database of all our statutory and ethical approvals. We use it to generate warnings when we need to produce reports to institutional review boards, ethical committees or legal authorities, or to seek renewal of the approvals.

If we have missed a deadline, and the ethical approval for your registry should have been renewed, please let us know! Write to

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Teaching in cancer survival

Cancer survival: principles, methods and applications
The Cancer Survival Group’s 11th annual short course will be held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July 2016. Applications are still open – please go here.

Population-based Time-to-event Analyses – international conference
Population-based registries are now often enriched with data about clinical management and the healthcare system. The Cancer Survival Group is hosting an international conference from 31 August to 2 September 2016 to discuss state-of-the-art analytic methods for such data. This will provide a forum for discussion on methods for time-to-event analysis of population-based data, and opportunities for networking for future collaboration. Applications are still open – please go here.

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Personnel working on the CONCORD programme

Central Analytic Team

  • Dr Claudia Allemani PhD, Senior Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology
  • Dr Audrey Bonaventure MD, Clinical Lecturer
  • Dr Michel Coleman MD, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics
  • Veronica Di Carlo, MSc, Research Fellow
  • Rhea Harewood MSc, Research Fellow
  • Dr Kenwin Liu PhD, Data Manager
  • Melissa Matz MSc, PhD candidate, Research Assistant
  • Lisa Montel LLM, Administrative Assistant
  • Maja Niksič MSc, PhD candidate, Research Fellow
  • Natalia Sanz BA, Programme Manager
  • Devon Spika MSc, Research Fellow

Visiting or seconded staff and students

  • Dr Finian Bannon PhD, Visiting Research Fellow (Queen’s University, Belfast, UK)
  • Dr Jérémie Jégu MD, Visiting Research Fellow (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Strasbourg, France)

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Endorsements for the CONCORD programme

More than 30 agencies have funded or endorsed the CONCORD programme, or seconded scientific personnel to work with the team in London:

  • Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC) (Madrid, Spain)
  • Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • British Embassy in Algiers (Algeria)
  • Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies (CAPCA) (Toronto, Canada)
  • Canadian Council of Cancer Registries (Toronto, Canada)
  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) (Toronto, Canada)
  • Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (Belfast, UK)
  • Cancer Institute New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
  • Cancer Research UK (London, UK)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Atlanta, USA)
  • Children with Cancer UK (London, UK)
  • Danish Cancer Society (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • European Cancer Patient Coalition (Brussels, Belgium)
  • European Institute for Women’s Health (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Fondation de France (Paris, France)
  • Institut National du Cancer (INCa) (Paris, France)
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (Lyon, France)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (Vienna, Austria)
  • International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • International SOS, (Papua, Indonesia)
  • Israel Centre for Disease Control (Tel-Hashomer, Israel)
  • Jolanta Kwaśniewska’s Foundation (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Liga Argentina de Lucha Contra El Cancer (LALCEC)
  • Members of the European Parliament Against Cancer (MAC) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • National Cancer Institute, Center for Global Health (NCI) (Washington DC, USA)
  • National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Consumer Liaison Group (Leeds, UK)
  • National Institute for Cancer Epidemiology and Registration (NICER) (Zürich, Switzerland)
  • NCD Asia Pacific Alliance (NCDAPA) (Tokyo, Japan)
  • North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) (Chicago, USA)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Paris, France)
  • Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Swiss Cancer League (Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Swiss Cancer Research foundation (Bern, Switzerland)
  • Swiss Re (London, UK)
  • Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO-EURO) (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • World Bank

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