Newsletter No. 8 – 13 December, 2013

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Cancer registries, data submission and quality control

As of 13 December 2013, 290 population-based cancer registries had registered to participate. We have received 2,267 data sets from 261 (90%) of these registries.

In Finland, the data are ready for transmission, but ethical approval processes are not yet complete. A further 28 registries are in the process of completing their data sets for submission. A few registries are still completing legal processes or applications for ethical approval.

The first phase of quality control has been completed on 2,187 data sets from 242 (93%) registries, and reports have been sent to all 242 of those registries. The remaining 80 data sets from 8 registries were not suitable for quality control; the registries involved are preparing to resubmit them.

The second phase of quality control is almost complete, and reports will be sent to all registries within the next few weeks.

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CONCORD questionnaire

We have received questionnaires from 226 (87%) of the 261 registries that have submitted data. Thank you! The questionnaires provide data about cancer registry operations such as procedures for follow-up. The information will help in the interpretation of international cancer survival comparisons.

If you have not yet completed the questionnaire, you will need to do this, either online:
or as a Word document that you can return by email:
Cancer registry questionnaire.doc

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Two of the high-resolution studies that developed from the first CONCORD study have now been published:

  1. Allemani C, Rachet B, Weir HK, Richardson LC, Lepage C, Faivre J, Gatta G, Capocaccia R, Sant M, Baili P, Lombardo C, Aareleid T, Ardanaz E, Bielska-Lasota M, Bolick S, Cress R, Elferink M, Fulton JP, Galceran J, Gozdz S, Hakulinen T, Primic-Zakelj M, Rachtan J, Diba CS, Sanchez MJ, Schymura MJ, Shen T, Tagliabue G, Tumino R, Vercelli M, Wolf HJ, Wu XC, Coleman MP. Colorectal cancer survival in the USA and Europe: a CONCORD high-resolution study. BMJ Open 2013; 3: e003055
  2. Allemani C, Sant M, Weir HK, Richardson LC, Baili P, Storm H, Siesling S, Torrella-Ramos A, Voogd AC, Aareleid T, Ardanaz E, Berrino F, Bielska-Lasota M, Bolick S, Cirilli C, Colonna M, Contiero P, Cress RD, Crocetti E, Fulton JP, Grosclaude P, Hakulinen T, Izarzugaza I, Malmström P, Peignaux K, Primic-Žakelj M, Rachtan J, Safaei Diba C, Sanchez M-J, Schymura MJ, Shen T, Traina A, Tryggvadóttir L, Tumino R, Velten M, Vercelli M, Wolf HJ, Woronoff A-S, Wu X, Coleman MP. Breast cancer survival in the US and Europe: a CONCORD high-resolution study. Int J Cancer 2013; 132: 1170-81

We anticipate a further publication on the prostate high-resolution study within the next few months.

On 16 December 2013, The Lancet published three articles arising from the World Oncology Forum held in Lugano, Switzerland, in October 2012, as a Series entitled: “The Cancer Wars”:

  1. Vineis P and Wild CP. Global cancer patterns: causes and prevention.
  2. Hanahan D. Rethinking the war on cancer.
  3. Coleman MP. Cancer survival: global surveillance will stimulate health policy and improve equity.

The last article provides the background and rationale for the CONCORD programme.

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Scientific meetings and conferences

Progress reports have been presented at recent international meetings:

  • International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), Buenos Aires (Argentina), October 2013
  • Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), Melbourne (Australia), November 2013

Presentations planned:

  • North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), Ottawa (Canada), June 2014 (abstract submitted)
  • International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), Ottawa (Canada), June 2014 (abstract to be submitted by 19 January 2014)

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Teaching and capacity-building

Workshop on cancer survival

Prof Michel Coleman, Dr Bernard Rachet, Dr Claudia Allemani, Prof Gulnar Azevedo da Silva and Dr Maria Graciela Abriata ran a one-day workshop on cancer survival in Buenos Aires on 25 October 2013, as part of the IACR conference programme, in collaboration with the Argentinian Ministry of Health. The local organiser was Dr Maria Graciela Abriata (Ministry of Health). The workshop provided an introduction to the principles, methods and applications of cancer survival. It was attended by about 40 participants.

Workshops and courses planned for 2014

Ottawa (Canada), 23 June 2014

A one-day workshop on cancer survival and life tables has been accepted as part of the pre-conference programme of the NAACCR meeting in Ottawa.

London (UK) and Lyon (France), 30 June – 4 July 2014

The 9th edition of the annual short course “Cancer survival: principles, methods and applications” will be run by the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

The London course is run in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, under a Memorandum of Understanding between LSHTM and IARC. The Agency’s regular one-week summer course on cancer registration will be held during 16-22 June 2014, and its two-week course on cancer epidemiology will run from 23 June to 4 July 2014. The London and Lyon courses are coordinated, so that participants can choose to spend the first week in Lyon and the second week in London.

Cancer Survival Group staff will teach in Lyon in the first and third weeks, and IARC will send a faculty member to teach on the LSHTM course.

Amman (Jordan), 20-23 October 2014

We are in advanced discussion with the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, to hold an intensive four-day course in October 2014. This course will provide an introduction to the principles, methods and applications of cancer survival for population-based cancer registries in the Middle East. It will include two days of lectures, followed by two days of computer-based analytic exercises using anonymised data provided by the participating registries. Further details will be announced in due course.

CONCORD Training Fellowships

In 2013, we awarded six CONCORD Training Fellowships in Cancer Survival to enable scientists from cancer registries in low- and middle-income countries to participate in the short course in London. The fellowships covered return airfare, course fees, accommodation and a small living allowance. The fellows came from China, Colombia, Lebanon, Sudan, Russian Federation and Thailand.

The Trade and Investments Section of the British Embassy in Algiers (Head: Marcus Grazette) kindly provided two additional CONCORD Training Fellowships in Cancer Survival to support the participation of two scientists from Algerian cancer registries, with collaboration from the Algerian Ministry of Health.

In 2014, we will award a further five CONCORD Training Fellowships in Cancer Survival to scientists from cancer registries in low- and middle-income countries whose application to attend the short course in London has been received by 31 March 2014. Separate applications for the training fellowships are not required.

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The following agencies have committed either funding or personnel to the CONCORD programme:

  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (Toronto), two years 2013-14
  • Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (Belfast), researcher seconded part-time to London 2013-14
  • Cancer Institute New South Wales (Sydney), two researchers seconded part-time
  • Cancer Research UK (London), four years 2013-16
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta), three years 2012-15
  • Children with Cancer UK (London), PhD student 2013-2015
  • Swiss Re (London), three years 2012-14
  • Swiss Cancer Research foundation (Bern), three years 2013-16
  • Swiss Cancer League (Bern), three years 2013-16

Previous funding agencies:

  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Other agencies are considering financial or scientific collaboration.

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Personnel working on CONCORD-2

  • Dr Michel Coleman MD, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics
  • Dr Claudia Allemani PhD, Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology
  • Dr Xiao-Si Wang PhD, Research Fellow
  • Helena Carreira MPH, Research Fellow
  • Rhea Harewood MSc, Research Fellow
  • Devon Spika MSc, Research Fellow
  • Jane Ahn MSc, Data Manager
  • Natalia Sanz BA, Programme Manager
  • Tanisha Lewis BA, Administrative Assistant
  • Dr Finian Bannon PhD (Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK), seconded part-time
  • Dr Matt Soeberg PhD (Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, Australia), seconded part-time
  • Hui You MSc (Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, Australia), seconded part-time
  • Dr Renata Abrahão MD (doctoral student, Children with Cancer)
  • Melissa Matz MSc (doctoral student)

We have recruited a Clinical Lecturer, who will start in March 2014.

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CONCORD Steering Committee

The Steering Committee welcomes a new member:

  • Prof David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer & CEO of the Cancer Institute New South Wales, NSW, Australia

Prof Graham Giles, Director of the Victorian Cancer Registry, Australia, has stepped down from the CONCORD Steering Committee after 13 years. We are extremely grateful for his longstanding support and commitment!

The Steering Committee will meet again to review progress during the annual NAACCR conference in Ottawa, Canada, on Tuesday 24 June 2014. The NAACCR meeting is being held jointly with the 36th Scientific Conference of the International Association of Cancer Registries.

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Endorsements for the CONCORD programme

World Bank

The World Bank has now endorsed the CONCORD programme, noting that its goals are aligned with the World Bank’s strategy for health, which emphasises improvements in governance, transparency and accountability, and with country-level efforts to improve the management of health systems and strengthen the evidence base for policy. The Bank agrees that CONCORD will generate important international evidence on cancer survival and cancer care, and that it will help improve cancer registries and develop capacity through data quality review, capacity-building and international collaboration.

More than 30 agencies have now provided funding, scientific personnel or written endorsement for the CONCORD programme, emphasising the wide support for global surveillance of cancer survival:

  • 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 Institute for Women’s Health (Dublin, Ireland)
  • 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)
  • Israel Centre for Disease Control (Tel-Hashomer, Israel)
  • Jolanta Kwaśniewska’s Foundation (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Members of the European Parliament Against Cancer (MAC) (Brussels, Belgium)
  • National Cancer Institute, Center for Global Health (NCI) (Washington DC, USA)
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Consumer Liaison Group (Leeds, UK)
  • National Institute for Cancer Epidemiology and Registration (NICER) (Zürich, Switzerland)
  • North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) (Chicago, USA)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Paris, France)
  • 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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