Publications by authors named "Freddie Bray"

348 Publications

Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020: a review of current estimates of the national burden, data gaps, and future needs.

Lancet Oncol 2022 May 9. Epub 2022 May 9.

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; The African Cancer Registry Network, INCTR African Registry Programme, Oxford, UK.

Background: With the cancer burden rising in sub-Saharan Africa, countries in the region need surveillance systems to measure the magnitude of the problem and monitor progress in cancer control planning. Based on the national estimates built from data provided by cancer registries in sub-Saharan Africa, we summarise key patterns of the regional burden and argue for investments in locally produced data.

Methods: To present national estimates of the cancer incidence and mortality burden in sub-Saharan Africa countries, new cancer cases and deaths were extracted from International Agency for Research on Cancers' GLOBOCAN database for the year 2020. Given weak vital statistics systems, almost all of the information on the cancer burden in sub-Saharan Africa was derived from population-based cancer registries. Of the 48 countries included in GLOBOCAN (national populations must be larger than 150 000 inhabitants in 2020), relatively recent cancer registry data (up to 2019) were directly used to produce national incidence estimates in 25 countries, while the absence of such data for 16 meant that estimates were based on data from neighbouring countries. Tables and figures present the estimated numbers of new cases and deaths, as well as age-standardised (incidence or mortality) rates per 100 000 person-years and the cumulative risk of developing or dying from cancer before the age of 75 years.

Findings: 801 392 new cancer cases and 520 158 cancer deaths were estimated to have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020. Cancers of the breast (129 400 female cases) and cervix (110 300 cases) were responsible for three in ten of the cancers diagnosed in both sexes. Breast and cervical cancer were the most common cancers, ranking first in 28 and 19 countries, respectively. In men, prostate cancer led in terms of incidence (77 300 cases), followed by liver cancer (24 700 cases) and colorectal cancer (23 400 cases). Prostate cancer was the leading incident cancer in men in 40 sub-Saharan Africa countries. The risk of a woman in sub-Saharan Africa developing cancer by the age of 75 years was 14·1%, with breast cancer (4·1%) and cervical cancer (3·5%) responsible for half of this risk. For men, the corresponding cumulative incidence was lower (12·2%), with prostate cancer responsible for a third of this risk (4·2%). Cervical cancer was the leading form of cancer death among women in 27 countries, followed by breast cancer (21 countries). Prostate cancer led as the most common type of cancer death in 26 countries, with liver cancer ranking second (11 countries).

Interpretation: The estimates indicate substantial geographical variations in the major cancers in sub-Saharan Africa. Rational cancer control planning requires capacity to be built for data production, analysis, and interpretation within the countries themselves. Cancer registries provide important information in this respect and should be prioritised for sustainable investment in the region.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(22)00270-4DOI Listing
May 2022

Progress in reducing premature mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease in the former Soviet Union, 2000-19.

Eur J Public Health 2022 Mar 15. Epub 2022 Mar 15.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: A reduction in non-communicable diseases premature mortality by one-third by 2030 is one of the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3.4). We examined the mortality profiles in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS) and the European Union (EU) and assessed progress in reductions of premature mortality from cancer, as compared to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods: We used WHO's Global Health Estimates and GLOBOCAN 2020 to examine current mortality profiles and computed the unconditional probabilities of dying at ages 30-70 from CVD and cancer for the years 2000-19 in both sexes, using a linear extrapolation of this trend to predict whether the target of a one-third reduction, as set in 2015, would be met in 2030.

Results: CVD was the main cause of premature death in the NIS (43%), followed by cancer (23%), inversely from the EU with 42% cancer and 24% CVD deaths. The NIS achieved major reductions in premature CVD mortality, although the probabilities of death in 2019 remained about five times higher in the NIS compared to the EU. For cancer, mortality reductions in most NIS were quite modest, other than large declines seen in Kazakhstan (44%) and Kyrgyzstan (30%), with both on course to meet the 2030 target.

Conclusions: Limited progress in cancer control in the NIS calls for policy action both in terms of structural changes towards universal health coverage, and scaling up of national cancer control plans, including a shift from opportunistic to evidence-based early detection practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac030DOI Listing
March 2022

Tobacco smoking changes during the first pre-vaccination phases of the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

EClinicalMedicine 2022 Apr 12:101375. Epub 2022 Apr 12.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Background: Globally, tobacco smoking remains the largest preventable cause of premature death. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced nations to take unprecedented measures, including 'lockdowns' that might impact tobacco smoking behaviour. We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses to assess smoking behaviour changes during the early pre-vaccination phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Methods: We searched Medline/Embase/PsycINFO/BioRxiv/MedRxiv/SSRN databases (January-November 2020) for published and pre-print articles that reported specific smoking behaviour changes or intentions after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used random-effects models to pool prevalence ratios comparing the prevalence of smoking during and before the pandemic, and the prevalence of smoking behaviour changes during the pandemic. The PROSPERO registration number for this systematic review was CRD42020206383.

Findings: 31 studies were included in meta-analyses, with smoking data for 269,164 participants across 24 countries. The proportion of people smoking during the pandemic was lower than that before, with a pooled prevalence ratio of 0·87 (95%CI:0·79-0·97). Among people who smoke, 21% (95%CI:14-30%) smoked less, 27% (95%CI:22-32%) smoked more, 50% (95%CI:41%-58%) had unchanged smoking and 4% (95%CI:1-9%) reported quitting smoking. Among people who did not smoke, 2% (95%CI:1-3%) started smoking during the pandemic. Heterogeneity was high in all meta-analyses and so the pooled estimates should be interpreted with caution ( >91% and -heterogeneity<0·001). Almost all studies were at high risk of bias due to use of non-representative samples, non-response bias, and utilisation of non-validated questions.

Interpretation: Smoking behaviour changes during the first phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 were highly mixed. Meta-analyses indicated that there was a relative reduction in overall smoking prevalence during the pandemic, while similar proportions of people who smoke smoked more or smoked less, although heterogeneity was high. Implementation of evidence-based tobacco control policies and programs, including tobacco cessation services, have an important role in ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not exacerbate the smoking pandemic and associated adverse health outcomes.

Funding: No specific funding was received for this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2022.101375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9002019PMC
April 2022

Global Burden of Cutaneous Melanoma in 2020 and Projections to 2040.

JAMA Dermatol 2022 05;158(5):495-503

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Importance: Despite many cases being preventable, cutaneous melanoma remains the most serious skin cancer worldwide. Understanding the scale and profile of the disease is vital to concentrate and reinforce global prevention efforts.

Objective: To examine global patterns of cutaneous melanoma in 2020 and to provide projected estimates of cases and deaths by 2040.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This population-based study used the GLOBOCAN 2020 database for global epidemiological assessment of new cases and deaths due to invasive melanoma.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Age-standardized incidence and mortality rates were calculated per 100 000 person-years by country, world region, and 4-tier level of human development. Estimated numbers of cases and deaths were calculated for the year 2040.

Results: A worldwide total of 325 000 new melanoma cases (174 000 males, 151 000 females) and 57 000 deaths (32 000 males, 25 000 females) was estimated for 2020. Large geographic variations existed across countries and world regions, with the highest incidence rates among males (42 per 100 000 person-years) and females (31 per 100 000 person-years) observed in Australia/New Zealand, followed by Western Europe (19 per 100 000 person-years for males and females), North America (18 per 100 000 person-years for males, 14 per 100 000 person-years for females), and Northern Europe (17 per 100 000 person-years for males, 18 per 100 000 person-years for females). Melanoma continued to be rare in most African and Asian countries, with incidence rates commonly less than 1 per 100 000 person-years. Mortality rates peaked at 5 per 100 000 person-years in New Zealand, and geographic variations were less pronounced than for incidence. Melanoma was more frequent among males than females in most world regions. If 2020 rates continue, the burden from melanoma is estimated to increase to 510 000 new cases (a roughly 50% increase) and to 96 000 deaths (a 68% increase) by 2040.

Conclusions And Relevance: This epidemiological assessment suggests that melanoma remains an important challenge to cancer control and public health globally, especially in fair-skinned populations of European descent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamadermatol.2022.0160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8968696PMC
May 2022

Ovarian cancer today and tomorrow: A global assessment by world region and Human Development Index using GLOBOCAN 2020.

Int J Cancer 2022 Mar 23. Epub 2022 Mar 23.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Ovarian cancer remains to have relatively poor prognosis particularly in low-resourced settings. It is therefore important to continually examine the burden of ovarian cancer to identify areas of disparities. Our study aims to provide an overview of the global burden of ovarian cancer using the GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates by country, world region, and Human Development Index (HDI) levels, as well as the predicted future burden by the year 2040 by HDI. Age-standardized incidence and mortality rates for ovarian cancer in 185 countries were calculated by country, world region, and for the four-tier HDI. The number of new cases and deaths were projected for the year 2040 based on demographic projections by HDI category. Approximately 314 000 new ovarian cancer cases and 207 000 deaths occurred in 2020. There were marked geographic variations in incidence rates, with the highest rates observed in European countries with very high HDI and low rates were found in African countries within the lowest HDI group. Comparable mortality rates were observed across the four-tier HDI. Relative to 2020 estimates, our projection for 2040 indicates approximately 96% and 100% increase in new ovarian cancer cases and deaths, respectively, among low HDI countries compared to 19% and 28% in very high HDI countries. Our study highlights the disproportionate current and future burden of ovarian cancer in countries with lower HDI levels, calling for global action to reduce the burden and inequality of ovarian cancer in access to quality cancer care and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.34002DOI Listing
March 2022

Global patterns in testicular cancer incidence and mortality in 2020.

Int J Cancer 2022 Mar 12. Epub 2022 Mar 12.

Section of Cancer Surveillance, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

With 74 500 new cases worldwide in 2020, testicular cancer ranks as the 20th leading cancer type, but is the most common cancer in young men of European ancestry. While testicular cancer incidence has been rising in many populations, mortality trends, at least those in high-income settings, have been in decline since the 1970s following the introduction of platinum-based chemotherapy. To examine current incidence and mortality patterns, we extracted the new cases of, and deaths from cancers of the testis from the GLOBOCAN 2020 database. In 2020, testicular cancer was the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 44 in 62 countries worldwide. Incidence rates were highest in West-, North- and South-Europe and Oceania (age-standardised rate, ASR ≥7/100 000), followed by North America (5.6/100 000 and lowest (<2/100 000) in Asia and Africa. The mortality rates were highest in Central and South America (0.84 and 0.54 per 100 000, respectively), followed by Eastern and Southern Europe, and Western and Southern Africa. The lowest mortality rates were in Northern Europe, Northern Africa and Eastern Asia (0.16, 0.14, 0.9 per 100 000, respectively). At the country level, incidence rates varied over 100-fold, from 10/100 000 in Norway, Slovenia, Denmark and Germany to ≤0.10/100 000 in Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Lesotho. Mortality rates were highest in Fiji, Argentina and Mexico. Our results indicate a higher mortality burden in countries undergoing economic transitions and reinforce the need for more equitable access to testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33999DOI Listing
March 2022

Trends in colon and rectal cancer mortality in Australia from 1972 to 2015 and associated projections to 2040.

Sci Rep 2022 03 7;12(1):3994. Epub 2022 Mar 7.

The Daffodil Centre, The University of Sydney, A Joint Venture with Cancer Council NSW, NSW, 1340, Sydney, Australia.

Previously published sub-site Australian projections for colon and rectal cancers to 2035 using the World Health Organization's mortality database sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) predicted mortality rate decreases for colon cancer and increases for rectal cancer. There are complexities related to the interpretation of ABS's Australian colon and rectal cancer mortality rates, which could lead to possible inaccuracies in mortality rates for these sub-sites. The largest Australian population-wide registry, New South Wales Cancer Registry (NSWCR), compares routinely-reported causes of death with the recorded medical history from multiple data sources. Therefore, this study used the NSWCR data to project mortality rates for colon and rectal cancers separately to 2040 in Australia. The mortality rates for colon cancer are projected to continuously decline over the period 2015-2040, from 7.0 to 4.7 per 100,000 males, and from 5.3 to 3.2 per 100,000 females. Similar decreasing trends in mortality rates for rectal cancer were projected over the period 2015-2040, from 4.9 to 3.7 per 100,000 males, and from 2.6 to 2.3 per 100,000 females. These projections provide benchmark estimates for the colorectal cancer burden in Australia against which the effectiveness of cancer control interventions can be measured.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-07797-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8900106PMC
March 2022

Pancreatic cancer survival by stage and age in seven high-income countries (ICBP SURVMARK-2): a population-based study.

Br J Cancer 2022 Mar 2. Epub 2022 Mar 2.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France.

Background: The global burden of pancreatic cancer has steadily increased, while the prognosis after pancreatic cancer diagnosis remains poor. This study aims to compare the stage- and age-specific pancreatic cancer net survival (NS) for seven high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and United Kingdom.

Methods: The study included over 35,000 pancreatic cancer cases diagnosed during 2012-2014, followed through 31 December 2015. The stage- and age-specific NS were calculated using the Pohar-Perme estimator.

Results: Pancreatic cancer survival estimates were low across all 7 countries, with 1-year NS ranging from 21.1% in New Zealand to 30.9% in Australia, and 3-year NS from 6.6% in the UK to 10.9% in Australia. Most pancreatic cancers were diagnosed with distant stage, ranging from 53.9% in Ireland to 83.3% in New Zealand. While survival differences were evident between countries across all stage categories at one year after diagnosis, this survival advantage diminished, particularly in cases with distant stage.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated the importance of stage and age at diagnosis in pancreatic cancer survival. Although progress has been made in improving pancreatic cancer prognosis, the disease is highly fatal and will remain so without major breakthroughs in the early diagnosis and management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01752-3DOI Listing
March 2022

Adolescents and young adults with cancer: Considerations from the Southeast Asian perspective.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2022 Feb 7:e29593. Epub 2022 Feb 7.

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Practice, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.29593DOI Listing
February 2022

The shifting epidemiology of lung cancer in Asian and Asian diaspora populations: Implications for clinical and global health policy research.

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 2022 Jan 30. Epub 2022 Jan 30.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajco.13738DOI Listing
January 2022

Burden of Kaposi sarcoma according to HIV status: A systematic review and global analysis.

Int J Cancer 2022 06 16;150(12):1948-1957. Epub 2022 Feb 16.

Early Detection, Prevention and Infections Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France.

In 2020, over 34 000 cases of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) were estimated globally, all attributable to KS herpesvirus (KSHV). Prior to the HIV epidemic, KS already existed in KSHV endemic regions, notably in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The HIV epidemic has vastly increased the KS burden. We developed a methodology to provide global estimates of KS burden according to HIV status. A systematic review identified studies reporting HIV prevalence in consecutive KS series. Pooled estimates of HIV prevalence, by country or UN subregion, were used to calculate population-attributable fraction (PAF) and these were applied to IARC's GLOBOCAN 2020 to estimate burden and incidence of HIV-attributable and non-HIV-attributable KS. We identified 55 eligible studies, reporting HIV prevalence ranging from ≤5% to ≥95%. Approximately 80% of KS in SSA was estimated attributable to HIV, vs ~50% in the rest of the world. By applying PAFs to national GLOBOCAN estimates, an estimated 19 560 KS cases attributable to HIV were diagnosed in SSA in 2020 (~80% of the worldwide burden), vs 5064 cases of non-HIV-attributable KS (~60% of the worldwide burden). Incidence of HIV-attributable KS was highest in Southern Africa (6.0 cases per 100 000) and Eastern Africa (3.4), which were also the world regions with highest incidence of non-HIV-attributable KS (0.4 and 1.0 cases per 100 000, respectively). This first systematic effort to produce a global picture of KS burden stratified by HIV status highlights the continuing important burden of HIV-attributable KS in SSA, even in the era of combined antiretroviral therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33951DOI Listing
June 2022

Global patterns of Hodgkin lymphoma incidence and mortality in 2020 and a prediction of the future burden in 2040.

Int J Cancer 2022 06 7;150(12):1941-1947. Epub 2022 Feb 7.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Our study examines global patterns of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in 2020 and predicts the future incidence and mortality burden in 2040 using IARC's GLOBOCAN estimates of the number of new cases and deaths of HL in 185 countries. A total of 83 000 new cases of HL and 23 000 deaths from HL were estimated in 2020. In general, incidence and mortality rates were consistently higher in males (50% more cases and deaths than females) across world regions and countries. Incidence rates varied markedly by world region, at least 10-fold in both sexes, with the highest incidence rates observed in Southern Europe. Mortality exhibited an inverse pattern compared to incidence, with rates elevated in Western Asia and Northern Africa. The number of HL incident cases is predicted to rise to around 107 000 cases (a 30% increase) by 2040 due to demographic changes, assuming global rates in 2020 remains unchanged. The findings provide a baseline and impetus for developing strategies that aim to reduce the burden of HL in future decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33948DOI Listing
June 2022

Five ways to improve international comparisons of cancer survival: lessons learned from ICBP SURVMARK-2.

Br J Cancer 2022 May 20;126(8):1224-1228. Epub 2022 Jan 20.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Comparisons of population-based cancer survival between countries are important to benchmark the overall effectiveness of cancer management. The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) Survmark-2 study aims to compare survival in seven high-income countries across eight cancer sites and explore reasons for the observed differences. A critical aspect in ensuring comparability in the reported survival estimates are similarities in practice across cancer registries. While ICBP Survmark-2 has shown these differences are unlikely to explain the observed differences in cancer-specific survival between countries, it is important to keep in mind potential biases linked to registry practice and understand their likely impact.

Methods: Based on experiences gained within ICBP Survmark-2, we have developed a set of recommendations that seek to optimally harmonise cancer registry datasets to improve future benchmarking exercises.

Results: Our recommendations stem from considering the impact on cancer survival estimates in five key areas: (1) the completeness of the registry and the availability of registration sources; (2) the inclusion of death certification as a source of identifying cases; (3) the specification of the date of incidence; (4) the approach to handling multiple primary tumours and (5) the quality of linkage of cases to the deaths register.

Conclusion: These recommendations seek to improve comparability whilst maintaining the opportunity to understand and act upon international variations in outcomes among cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01701-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9023566PMC
May 2022

Population-based cancer survival in the Golestan province in the northeastern part of Iran 2007-2012.

Cancer Epidemiol 2022 04 15;77:102089. Epub 2022 Jan 15.

Cancer Research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Objective: We studied 5-year relative survival (RS) for 14 leading cancer sites in the population-based cancer registry (PBCR) of Golestan province in the northeastern part of Iran.

Methodology: We followed patients diagnosed in 2007-2012 through data linkage with different databases, including the national causes of death registry and vital statistics office. We also followed the remaining patients through active contact. We used relative survival (RS) analysis to estimate 5-year age-standardized net survival for each cancer site. Multiple Imputation (MI) method was performed to obtain vital status for loss to follow-up (LTFU) cases.

Results: We followed 6910 cancer patients from Golestan PBCR. However, 2162 patients were loss to follow-up. We found a higher RS in women (29.5%, 95% CI, 27.5, 31.7) than men (21.0%, 95% CI, 19.5, 22.5). The highest RS was observed for breast cancer in women (RS=49.8%, 95% CI, 42.2, 56.9) and colon cancer in men (RS=37.9%, 95% CI, 31.2, 44.6). Pancreatic cancer had the lowest RS both in men (RS= 8.7%, 95% CI, 4.1, 13.5) and women (RS= 7.9%, 95% CI, 5.0, 10.8) CONCLUSION: Although the 5-year cancer survival rates were relatively low in the Golestan province, there were distinct variations by cancer site. Further studies are required to evaluate the survival trends in Golestan province over time and compare them with the rates in the neighboring provinces and other countries in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.102089DOI Listing
April 2022

A way to explore the existence of "immortals" in cancer registry data - An illustration using data from ICBP SURVMARK-2.

Cancer Epidemiol 2022 02 24;76:102085. Epub 2021 Dec 24.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom.

Background: Accurately recorded vital status of individuals is essential when estimating cancer patient survival. When deaths are ascertained by linkage with vital statistics registers, some may be missed, and such individuals will wrongly appear to be long-term survivors, and survival will be overestimated. Interval-specific relative survival that levels off above one indicates that the survival among the cancer patients is better than expected, which could be due to the presence of immortals.

Methods: We included colon cancer cases diagnosed in 1995-1999 within the 19 jurisdictions in seven countries participating in ICBP SURVMARK-2, with follow-up information available until end-2015. Interval-specific relative survival was estimated for each year following diagnosis, by country and age group at diagnosis.

Results: The interval-specific relative survival levels off at 1 for all countries and age groups, with two exceptions: for the age group diagnosed at age 75 years and above in Ireland, and, to a lesser extent, in New Zealand.

Conclusion: Overall, a subset of immortals are not apparent in the early years within the ICBP SURVMARK-2 study, except for possibly in Ireland. We suggest this approach as one strategy of exploring the existence of immortals, and to be part of routine checks of cancer registry data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.102085DOI Listing
February 2022

International variation in oesophageal and gastric cancer survival 2012-2014: differences by histological subtype and stage at diagnosis (an ICBP SURVMARK-2 population-based study).

Gut 2021 Nov 25. Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Objective: To provide the first international comparison of oesophageal and gastric cancer survival by stage at diagnosis and histological subtype across high-income countries with similar access to healthcare.

Methods: As part of the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project, data from 28 923 patients with oesophageal cancer and 25 946 patients with gastric cancer diagnosed during 2012-2014 from 14 cancer registries in seven countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK) were included. 1-year and 3-year age-standardised net survival were estimated by stage at diagnosis, histological subtype (oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)) and country.

Results: Oesophageal cancer survival was highest in Ireland and lowest in Canada at 1 (50.3% vs 41.3%, respectively) and 3 years (27.0% vs 19.2%) postdiagnosis. Survival from gastric cancer was highest in Australia and lowest in the UK, for both 1-year (55.2% vs 44.8%, respectively) and 3-year survival (33.7% vs 22.3%). Most patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer had regional or distant disease, with proportions ranging between 56% and 90% across countries. Stage-specific analyses showed that variation between countries was greatest for localised disease, where survival ranged between 66.6% in Australia and 83.2% in the UK for oesophageal cancer and between 75.5% in Australia and 94.3% in New Zealand for gastric cancer at 1-year postdiagnosis. While survival for OAC was generally higher than that for OSCC, disparities across countries were similar for both histological subtypes.

Conclusion: Survival from oesophageal and gastric cancer varies across high-income countries including within stage groups, particularly for localised disease. Disparities can partly be explained by earlier diagnosis resulting in more favourable stage distributions, and distributions of histological subtypes of oesophageal cancer across countries. Yet, differences in treatment, and also in cancer registration practice and the use of different staging methods and systems, across countries may have impacted the comparisons. While primary prevention remains key, advancements in early detection research are promising and will likely allow for additional risk stratification and survival improvements in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-325266DOI Listing
November 2021

A modeling analysis to compare eligibility strategies for lung cancer screening in Brazil.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 Dec 1;42:101176. Epub 2021 Nov 1.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, Lyon 69372 CEDEX 08, France.

Background: Country-specific evidence is needed to guide decisions regarding whether and how to implement lung cancer screening in different settings. For this study, we estimated the potential numbers of individuals screened and lung cancer deaths prevented in Brazil after applying different strategies to define screening eligibility.

Methods: We applied the Lung Cancer Death Risk Assessment Tool (LCDRAT) to survey data on current and former smokers (ever-smokers) in 15 Brazilian state capital cities that comprise 18% of the Brazilian population. We evaluated three strategies to define eligibility for screening: (1) pack-years and cessation time (≥30 pack-years and <15 years since cessation); (2) the LCDRAT risk model with a fixed risk threshold; and (3) LCDRAT with age-specific risk thresholds.

Findings: Among 2.3 million Brazilian ever-smokers aged 55-79 years, 21,459 (95%CI 20,532-22,387) lung cancer deaths were predicted over 5 years without screening. Applying the fixed risk-based eligibility definition would prevent more lung cancer deaths than the pack-years definition [2,939 (95%CI 2751-3127) vs. 2,500 (95%CI 2318-2681) lung cancer deaths], and with higher screening efficiency [NNS=177 (95%CI 170-183) vs. 205 (95%CI 194-216)], but would tend to screen older individuals [mean age 67.8 (95%CI 67.5-68.2) vs. 63.4 (95%CI 63.0-63.9) years]. Applying age-specific risk thresholds would allow younger ever-smokers to be screened, although these individuals would be at lower risk. The age-specific thresholds strategy would avert three-fifths (60.1%) of preventable lung cancer deaths [ = 2629 (95%CI 2448-2810)] by screening 21.9% of ever-smokers.

Interpretation: The definition of eligibility impacts the efficiency of lung cancer screening and the mean age of the eligible population. As implementation of lung screening proceeds in different countries, our analytical framework can be used to guide similar analyses in other contexts. Due to limitations of our models, more research would be needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8571533PMC
December 2021

Epidemiology and Prevention of Prostate Cancer.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 12 26;4(6):877-892. Epub 2021 Oct 26.

Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Context: Worldwide, prostate cancer (PCa) represents the second most common solid tumor in men.

Objective: To assess the geographical distribution of PCa, epidemiological differences, and the most relevant risk factors for the disease.

Evidence Acquisition: Estimated incidence, mortality, and prevalence of PCa for the year 2020 in 185 countries were derived from the IARC GLOBOCAN database. A review of English-language articles published between 2010 and 2020 was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus to identify risk factors for PCa.

Evidence Synthesis: In the year 2020, there were over 1414000 estimated new cases of PCa worldwide, with an age-standardized rate (ASR) incidence of 31 per 100000 (lifetime cumulative risk: 3.9%). Northern Europe has the highest all-age incidence ASR (83), while the lowest ASR was in South-Central Asia (6.3). In the year 2020, there were over 375000 estimated deaths worldwide, and the overall mortality ASR was 7.7 per 100000, with the highest ASR in the Caribbean (28) and the lowest in South-Central Asia (3.1). Family history, hereditary syndromes, and race are the strongest risk factors for PCa. Metabolic syndrome was associated with the risk of developing PCa, high-grade disease, and adverse pathology. Diabetes and exposure to ultraviolet rays were found to be inversely associated to PCa incidence. Cigarette smoking and obesity may increase PCa-specific mortality, while regular physical activity may reduce disease progression. Although 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are known to be associated with a reduced incidence of PCa, available studies failed to show an effect on overall mortality.

Conclusions: Family history, race, and hereditary syndromes are well-established risk factors for PCa. Modifiable risk factors may impact the risk of developing PCa and that of dying from the disease, but little evidence exist for any clear indication for prevention other than early diagnosis to reduce PCa mortality.

Patient Summary: Prostate cancer (PCa) rates vary profoundly worldwide, with incidence and mortality rates being highest in Northern Europe and Caribbean, respectively. South-Central Asia has the lowest epidemiological burden. Family history, race, and hereditary syndromes are well-established risk factors for PCa. Modifiable risk factors may impact the risk of developing PCa and that of dying from the disease itself, but little evidence exist for any clear indication for prevention other than early diagnosis to reduce PCa mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2021.09.006DOI Listing
December 2021

Pancreatic cancer: an increasing global public health concern.

Gut 2021 Oct 22. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326311DOI Listing
October 2021

National health system characteristics, breast cancer stage at diagnosis, and breast cancer mortality: a population-based analysis.

Lancet Oncol 2021 11 13;22(11):1632-1642. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

Breast Health Global Initiative, Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA; World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; Departments of Surgery and Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: In some countries, breast cancer age-standardised mortality rates have decreased by 2-4% per year since the 1990s, but others have yet to achieve this outcome. In this study, we aimed to characterise the associations between national health system characteristics and breast cancer age-standardised mortality rate, and the degree of breast cancer downstaging correlating with national age-standardised mortality rate reductions.

Methods: In this population-based study, national age-standardised mortality rate estimates for women aged 69 years or younger obtained from GLOBOCAN 2020 were correlated with a broad panel of standardised national health system data as reported in the WHO Cancer Country Profiles 2020. These health system characteristics include health expenditure, the Universal Health Coverage Service Coverage Index (UHC Index), dedicated funding for early detection programmes, breast cancer early detection guidelines, referral systems, cancer plans, number of dedicated public and private cancer centres per 10 000 patients with cancer, and pathology services. We tested for differences between continuous variables using the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test, and for categorical variables using the Pearson χ test. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were fitted to identify associations between health system characteristics and age-standardised breast cancer mortality rates. Data on TNM stage at diagnosis were obtained from national or subnational cancer registries, supplemented by a literature review of PubMed from 2010 to 2020. Mortality trends from 1950 to 2016 were assessed using the WHO Cancer Mortality Database. The threshold for significance was set at a p value of 0·05 or less.

Findings: 148 countries had complete health system data. The following variables were significantly higher in high-income countries than in low-income countries in unadjusted analyses: health expenditure (p=0·0002), UHC Index (p<0·0001), dedicated funding for early detection programmes (p=0·0020), breast cancer early detection guidelines (p<0·0001), breast cancer referral systems (p=0·0030), national cancer plans (p=0·014), cervical cancer early detection programmes (p=0·0010), number of dedicated public (p<0·0001) and private (p=0·027) cancer centres per 10 000 patients with cancer, and pathology services (p<0·0001). In adjusted multivariable regression analyses in 141 countries, two health system characteristics were significantly associated with lower age-standardised mortality rates: higher UHC Index levels (β=-0·12, 95% CI -0·16 to -0·08) and increasing numbers of public cancer centres (β=-0·23, -0·36 to -0·10). These findings indicate that each unit increase in the UHC Index was associated with a 0·12-unit decline in age-standardised mortality rates, and each additional public cancer centre per 10 000 patients with cancer was associated with a 0·23-unit decline in age-standardised mortality rate. Among 35 countries with available breast cancer TNM staging data, all 20 that achieved sustained mean reductions in age-standardised mortality rate of 2% or more per year for at least 3 consecutive years since 1990 had at least 60% of patients with invasive breast cancer presenting as stage I or II disease. Some countries achieved this reduction without most women having access to population-based mammographic screening.

Interpretation: Countries with low breast cancer mortality rates are characterised by increased levels of coverage of essential health services and higher numbers of public cancer centres. Among countries achieving sustained mortality reductions, the majority of breast cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, reinforcing the value of clinical early diagnosis programmes for improving breast cancer outcomes.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00462-9DOI Listing
November 2021

Age-specific burden of cervical cancer associated with HIV: A global analysis with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Int J Cancer 2022 03 19;150(5):761-772. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Early Detection, Prevention and Infections Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France.

HIV substantially worsens human papillomavirus (HPV) carcinogenicity and contributes to an important population excess of cervical cancer, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We estimated HIV- and age-stratified cervical cancer burden at a country, regional and global level in 2020. Proportions of cervical cancer (a) diagnosed in women living with HIV (WLHIV), and (b) attributable to HIV, were calculated using age-specific estimates of HIV prevalence (UNAIDS) and relative risk. These proportions were validated against empirical data and applied to age-specific cervical cancer incidence (GLOBOCAN 2020). HIV was most important in SSA, where 24.9% of cervical cancers were diagnosed in WLHIV, and 20.4% were attributable to HIV (vs 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively, in the rest of the world). In all world regions, contribution of HIV to cervical cancer was far higher in younger women (as seen also in empirical series). For example, in Southern Africa, where more than half of cervical cancers were diagnosed in WLHIV, the HIV-attributable fraction decreased from 86% in women ≤34 years to only 12% in women ≥55 years. The absolute burden of HIV-attributable cervical cancer (approximately 28 000 cases globally) also shifted toward younger women: in Southern Africa, 63% of 5341 HIV-attributable cervical cancer occurred in women <45 years old, compared to only 17% of 6901 non-HIV-attributable cervical cancer. Improved quantification of cervical cancer burden by age and HIV status can inform cervical cancer prevention efforts in SSA, including prediction of the impact of WLHIV-targeted vs general population approaches to cervical screening, and impact of HIV prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8732304PMC
March 2022

The European cancer burden in 2020: Incidence and mortality estimates for 40 countries and 25 major cancers.

Eur J Cancer 2021 11 21;157:308-347. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy.

Introduction: Europe is an important focus for compiling accurate and up-to-date world cancer statistics owing to its large share of the world's total cancer burden. This article presents incidence and mortality estimates for 25 major cancers across 40 individual countries within European areas and the European Union (EU-27) for the year 2020.

Methods: The estimated national incidence and mortality rates are based on statistical methodology previously applied and verified using the most recently collected incidence data from 151 population-based cancer registries, mortality data and 2020 population estimates.

Results: Estimates reveal 4 million new cases of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and 1.9 million cancer-related deaths. The most common cancers are: breast in women (530,000 cases), colorectum (520,000), lung (480,000) and prostate (470,000). These four cancers account for half the overall cancer burden in Europe. The most common causes of cancer deaths are: lung (380,000), colorectal (250,000), breast (140,000) and pancreatic (130,000) cancers. In EU-27, the estimated new cancer cases are approximately 1.4 million in males and 1.2 million in females, with over 710,000 estimated cancer deaths in males and 560,000 in females.

Conclusion: The 2020 estimates provide a basis for establishing priorities in cancer-control measures across Europe. The long-established role of cancer registries in cancer surveillance and the evaluation of cancer control measures remain fundamental in formulating and adapting national cancer plans and pan-European health policies. Given the estimates are built on recorded data prior to the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), they do not take into account the impact of the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.07.039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568058PMC
November 2021

Comparing cancer and cardiovascular disease trends in 20 middle- or high-income countries 2000-19: A pointer to national trajectories towards achieving Sustainable Development goal target 3.4.

Cancer Treat Rev 2021 Nov 9;100:102290. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

With the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target of a one-third reduction in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) less than a decade away, it is timely to assess national progress in reducing premature deaths from the two leading causes of mortality worldwide. We examine trends in the probability of dying ages 30-70 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer 2000-19 in 10 middle-income (MICs) and 10 high-income (HICs) countries with high quality data. We then predict whether the SDG target will be met in each country for CVD, cancer and for the four main NCDs combined. Downward trends were more evident in HICs relative to the MICs, and for CVD relative to cancer. CVD and cancer declines ranged from 30-60% and 20-30% in HICs over the 20-year period, but progress was less uniform among the MICs. Premature deaths from cancer exceeded CVD in nine of the 10 HICs by 2000 and in all 10 by 2019; in contrast, CVD mortality exceeded cancer in all 10 MICs in 2000 and remained the leading cause in eight countries by 2019. Two of the 10 MICs (Colombia and Kazakhstan) and seven of the HICs (Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, and the U.K.) are predicted to meet the SDG NCDs target. Whether countries are on course to meet the target by 2030 reflects changing risk factor profiles and the extent to which effective preventative and medical care interventions have been implemented. In addition, lessons can be learned given people living with NCDs are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 illness and death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2021.102290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8533484PMC
November 2021

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population-based cancer registry.

Int J Cancer 2022 01 18;150(2):273-278. Epub 2021 Sep 18.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to national health systems and impacted health outcomes worldwide. However, the extent to which surveillance systems, such as population-based cancer registration, have been affected was not reported. Here we sought to evaluate the effect of the pandemic on registry operations across different areas and development levels worldwide. We investigated the impact of COVID-19 on three main areas of cancer registry operations: staffing, financing and data collection. An online survey was administered to 750 member registries of the International Association for Cancer Registries. Among 212 responding registries from 90 countries, 65.6% reported a disruption in operations, ranging between 45% in south-eastern Asia and 87% in the Latin America and Caribbean. Active data collection was disrupted more than case notifications or hybrid methods. In countries categorized with low Human Development Index (HDI), a greater number of registries reported a negative impact (81.3%) than in very high HDI countries (57.8%). This contrast was highest in term of impact on financing: 9/16 (56%) registries in low HDI countries reported a current or an expected decline in funding, compared to 7/108 (7%) in very high HDI countries. With many cancer registries worldwide reporting disruption to their operations during the early COVID-19 pandemic, urgent actions are needed to ensure their continuity. Governmental commitment to support future registry operations as an asset to disease control, alongside a move toward electronic reporting systems will help to ensure the sustainability of cancer surveillance worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8652711PMC
January 2022

Comparison of liver cancer incidence and survival by subtypes across seven high-income countries.

Int J Cancer 2021 12 14;149(12):2020-2031. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

International comparison of liver cancer survival has been hampered due to varying standards and degrees for morphological verification and differences in coding practices. This article aims to compare liver cancer survival across the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership's (ICBP) jurisdictions whilst trying to ensure that the estimates are comparable through a range of sensitivity analyses. Liver cancer incidence data from 21 jurisdictions in 7 countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) were obtained from population-based registries for 1995-2014. Cases were categorised based on histological classification, age-groups, basis of diagnosis and calendar period. Age-standardised incidence rate (ASR) per 100 000 and net survival at 1 and 3 years after diagnosis were estimated. Liver cancer incidence rates increased over time across all ICBP jurisdictions, particularly for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with the largest relative increase in the United Kingdom, increasing from 1.3 to 4.4 per 100 000 person-years between 1995 and 2014. Australia had the highest age-standardised 1-year and 3-year net survival for all liver cancers combined (48.7% and 28.1%, respectively) in the most recent calendar period, which was still true for morphologically verified tumours when making restrictions to ensure consistent coding and classification. Survival from liver cancers is poor in all countries. The incidence of HCC is increasing alongside the proportion of nonmicroscopically verified cases over time. Survival estimates for all liver tumours combined should be interpreted in this context. Care is needed to ensure that international comparisons are performed on appropriately comparable patients, with careful consideration of coding practice variations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33767DOI Listing
December 2021

International differences in lung cancer survival by sex, histological type and stage at diagnosis: an ICBP SURVMARK-2 Study.

Thorax 2022 04 19;77(4):378-390. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Cancer Surveillance Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France

Introduction: Lung cancer has a poor prognosis that varies internationally when assessed by the two major histological subgroups (non-small cell (NSCLC) and small cell (SCLC)).

Method: 236 114 NSCLC and 43 167 SCLC cases diagnosed during 2010-2014 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK were included in the analyses. One-year and 3-year age-standardised net survival (NS) was estimated by sex, histological type, stage and country.

Results: One-year and 3-year NS was consistently higher for Canada and Norway, and lower for the UK, New Zealand and Ireland, irrespective of stage at diagnosis. Three-year NS for NSCLC ranged from 19.7% for the UK to 27.1% for Canada for men and was consistently higher for women (25.3% in the UK; 35.0% in Canada) partly because men were diagnosed at more advanced stages. International differences in survival for NSCLC were largest for regional stage and smallest at the advanced stage. For SCLC, 3-year NS also showed a clear female advantage with the highest being for Canada (13.8% for women; 9.1% for men) and Norway (12.8% for women; 9.7% for men).

Conclusion: Distribution of stage at diagnosis among lung cancer cases differed by sex, histological subtype and country, which may partly explain observed survival differences. Yet, survival differences were also observed within stages, suggesting that quality of treatment, healthcare system factors and prevalence of comorbid conditions may also influence survival. Other possible explanations include differences in data collection practice, as well as differences in histological verification, staging and coding across jurisdictions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-216555DOI Listing
April 2022

Are NCCN Resource-Stratified Guidelines for Breast Cancer Systemic Therapy Achievable? A Population-Based Study of Global Need and Economic Impact.

JCO Glob Oncol 2021 06;7:1074-1083

Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes, Research and Evaluation, South West Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia.

Purpose: Resource-stratified guidelines (RSG) for cancer provide a hierarchy of interventions, based on resource availability. We quantify treatment need and cost if National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) RSGs for breast cancer (BC) are adopted globally.

Methods: We developed decision trees for first-course systemic therapy, merged with SEER and Global Cancer Observatory 2018 incidence data to estimate treatment need and cost if NCCN RSG are implemented globally based on country-level income. Simulations were used to quantify need and cost of globally scaling up services to Maximal.

Results: Based on NCCN RSG, first-course chemotherapy is indicated in 0% (Basic), 87% (Core), and 86% (Enhanced) but declined to 50% (Maximal) because of incorporation of genomic profiling. First-course endocrine therapy (ET) is indicated in 80% in all settings. In 2018, treatment need was 1.4 million people for chemotherapy, 183,943 for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) therapies and 1.6 million for ET. The cost per person for chemotherapy or HER2 or immunotherapy increased by 17-fold from Core to Maximal ($1,278-$22,313 Australian dollars [AUD]). The cost of ET per person rose eight-fold from Basic to Maximal ($1,236-$9,809 AUD). If all patients with BC globally were treated with Maximal resources, the need for chemotherapy would decline by 28%, whereas cost of first-course treatment would rise by 1.8-fold ($21-$37 billion AUD) because of more costly therapies.

Conclusion: NCCN RSGs for BC could result in chemotherapy overtreatment in Core and Enhanced settings. The absence of chemotherapy in Basic settings should be reconsidered, and future iterations of RSG should perform cross-tumor comparisons to ensure equitable resource distribution and maximize population-level outcomes. Our model is flexible and can be tailored to the costs, population attributes, and resource availability of any institution or country for health-services planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.21.00028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8457816PMC
June 2021

The ever-increasing importance of cancer as a leading cause of premature death worldwide.

Cancer 2021 08 4;127(16):3029-3030. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

The relative importance of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer as leading causes of premature death are examined in this communication. CVD and cancer are now the leading causes in 127 countries, with CVD leading in 70 countries (including Brazil and India) and cancer leading in 57 countries (including China). Such observations can be seen as part of a late phase of an epidemiologic transition, taking place in the second half of the 20th century and the first half of the present one, in which the dominance of infectious diseases is progressively superseded by noncommunicable diseases. According to present ranks and recent trends, cancer may surpass CVD as the leading cause of premature death in most countries over the course of this century. Clearly, governments must factor in these transitions in developing cancer policies for the local disease profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33587DOI Listing
August 2021
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