Publications by authors named "Freddie Bray"

316 Publications

Cervical cancer in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union: Incidence will remain high without action.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 May 8;73:101944. Epub 2021 May 8.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2021.101944DOI Listing
May 2021

The impact of reclassifying cancers of unspecified histology on international differences in survival for small cell and non-small cell lung cancer (ICBP SurvMark-2 project).

Int J Cancer 2021 May 1. Epub 2021 May 1.

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

Survival from lung cancer remains low, yet is the most common cancer diagnosed worldwide. With survival contrasting between the main histological groupings, small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), it is important to assess the extent that geographical differences could be from varying proportions of cancers with unspecified histology across countries. Lung cancer cases diagnosed 2010-2014, followed until 31st December 2015 were provided by cancer registries from seven countries for the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project. Multiple imputation was used to reassign cases with unspecified histology into SCLC, NSCLC, other. One- and three-year age-standardised net survival were estimated by histology, sex, age group and country. 404,617 lung cancer cases were included, 47,533 (11.7%) and 262,040 (64.8%) were SCLC and NSCLC. The proportion of unspecified cases varied, from 11.2% (Denmark) to 29.0% (U.K). Following imputation with unspecified histology, survival variations remained: 1-year SCLC survival ranged from 28.0% (New Zealand) to 35.6% (Australia) NSCLC survival from 39.4% (U.K.) to 49.5% (Australia). The largest survival change following imputation was for 1-year NSCLC (4.9 percentage point decrease). Similar variations were observed for 3-year survival. The oldest age group had lowest survival and largest decline following imputation. International variations in SCLC and NSCLC survival are only partially attributable to differences in the distribution of unspecified histology. While it is important that registries and clinicians aim to improve completeness in classifying cancers, it is likely that other factors play a larger role, including underlying risk factors, stage, comorbidity and care management which warrants investigation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33620DOI Listing
May 2021

Cancer in Iran 2008 to 2025: Recent incidence trends and short-term predictions of the future burden.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

Policymakers require estimates of the future number of cancer patients in order to allocate finite resources to cancer prevention, treatment and palliative care. We examine recent cancer incidence trends in Iran and present predicted incidence rates and new cases for the entire country for the year 2025. We developed a method for approximating population-based incidence from the pathology-based data series available nationally for the years 2008 to 2013, and augmented this with data from the Iranian National Population-based Cancer Registry (INPCR) for the years 2014 to 2016. We fitted time-linear age-period models to the recent incidence trends to quantify the future cancer incidence burden to the year 2025, delineating the contribution of changes due to risk and those due to demographic change. The number of new cancer cases is predicted to increase in Iran from 112 000 recorded cases in 2016 to an estimated 160 000 in 2025, a 42.6% increase, of which 13.9% and 28.7% were attributed to changes in risk and population structure, respectively. In terms of specific cancers, the greatest increases in cases are predicted for thyroid (113.8%), prostate (66.7%), female breast (63.0%) and colorectal cancer (54.1%). Breast, colorectal and stomach cancers were the most common cancers in Iran in 2016 and are predicted to remain the leading cancers nationally in 2025. The increasing trends in incidence of most common cancers in Iran reinforce the need for the tailored design and implementation of effective national cancer control programs across the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33574DOI Listing
April 2021

Global estimates of expected and preventable cervical cancers among girls born between 2005 and 2014: a birth cohort analysis.

Lancet Public Health 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

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

Background: WHO has launched an initiative aiming to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem. Elimination is a long-term target that needs long-lasting commitment. To support local authorities in implementing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, we provide regional and country-specific estimates of cervical cancer burden and the projected impact of HPV vaccination among today's young girls who could develop cervical cancer if not vaccinated.

Methods: The expected number of cervical cancer cases in the absence of vaccination among girls born between 2005 and 2014 was quantified by combining age-specific incidence rates from GLOBOCAN 2018 and cohort-specific mortality rates by age from UN demographic projections. Preventable cancers were estimated on the basis of HPV prevalence reduction attributable to vaccination and the relative contribution of each HPV type to cervical cancer incidence. We assessed the number of cervical cancer cases preventable through vaccines targeting HPV types 16 and 18, with and without cross-protection, and through vaccines targeting HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

Findings: Globally, without vaccination, the burden of cervical cancer in these birth cohorts is expected to reach 11·6 million (95% uncertainty interval 11·4-12·0) cases by 2094. Approximately 75% of the burden will be concentrated in 25 countries mostly located in Africa and Asia, where the future number of cases is expected to increase manyfold, reaching 5·6 million (5·4-6·0) cases in Africa and 4·5 million (4·4-4·6) cases in Asia. Worldwide immunisation with an HPV vaccine targeted to HPV types 16 and 18, with cross-protection against HPV types 31, 33, and 45, could prevent about 8·7 million (8·5-9·0) cases.

Interpretation: Detailed estimates of the increasing burden of cervical cancer and projected impact of HPV vaccination is of immediate relevance to public health decision makers. Shifting the focus of projections towards recently born girls who could develop cervical cancer if not vaccinated is fundamental to overcome stakeholders' hesitancy towards HPV vaccination.

Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00046-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Cancer statistics for the year 2020: An overview.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

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

Our study briefly reviews the data sources and methods used in compiling the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) GLOBOCAN cancer statistics for the year 2020 and summarises the main results. National estimates were calculated based on the best available data on cancer incidence from population-based cancer registries (PBCR) and mortality from the World Health Organization mortality database. Cancer incidence and mortality rates for 2020 by sex and age groups were estimated for 38 cancer sites and 185 countries or territories worldwide. There were an estimated 19.3 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 19.0-19.6 million) new cases of cancer (18.1 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million (95% UI: 9.7-10.2 million) deaths from cancer (9.9 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) worldwide in 2020. The most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide were female breast cancer (2.26 million cases), lung (2.21) and prostate cancers (1.41); the most common causes of cancer death were lung (1.79 million deaths), liver (830000) and stomach cancers (769000).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33588DOI Listing
April 2021

The role and utility of population-based cancer registries in cervical cancer surveillance and control.

Prev Med 2021 Mar 4;144:106237. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

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

Population-based cancer registries (PBCR) are vital to the assessment of the cancer burden and in monitoring and evaluating national progress in cervical cancer surveillance and control. Yet the level of their development in countries exhibiting the highest cervical cancer incidence rates is suboptimal, and requires considerable investment if they are to document the impact of WHO global initiative to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem. As a starting point we propose a comprehensive cancer surveillance framework, positioning PBCR in relation to other health information systems that are required across the cancer control continuum. The key concepts of PBCR are revisited and their role in providing a situation analysis of the scale and profile of the cancer-specific incidence and survival, and their evolution over time is illustrated with specific examples. Linking cervical cancer data to screening and immunization information systems enables the development of a comprehensive set of measures capable of assessing the short- and long-term achievements and impact of the initiative. Such data form the basis of national and global estimates of the cancer burden and permit comparisons across countries, facilitating decision-making or triggering cancer control action. The initiation and sustainable development of PBCR must be an early step in the scale-up of cervical cancer control activities as a means to ensure progress is successfully monitored and appraised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7957339PMC
March 2021

Thyroid cancer incidence trends by histology in 25 countries: a population-based study.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2021 04 1;9(4):225-234. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO), Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Aviano, Italy.

Background: The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased in different populations worldwide in the past 30 years. We present here an overview of international trends of thyroid cancer incidence by major histological subtypes.

Methods: We did a population-based study with data for thyroid cancer incidence collected by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for the period 1998-2012. Data were extracted from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents plus compendium. We selected data for 25 countries that had a population of more than 2 million individuals covered by cancer registration (87 registries in total). Further criteria were that the selected registration areas had to have a proportion of unspecified thyroid cancer of less than 10% and analyses were restricted to individuals aged 20-84 years. We calculated age-specific incidence rates and age-standardised rates per 100 000 person-years for individuals aged 20 to 84 years, and assessed trends by country, sex, and major histological subtype (papillary, follicular, medullary, or anaplastic) based on absolute changes in age-standardised incidence rates between 1998-2002 and 2008-12.

Findings: Papillary thyroid cancer was the main contributor to overall thyroid cancer in all the studied countries, and was the only histological subtype that increased systematically in all countries, although with large variability between countries. In women, the age-standardised incidence rate of papillary thyroid cancer during 2008-12 ranged from 4·3-5·3 cases per 100 000 person-years in the Netherlands, the UK, and Denmark, to 143·3 cases per 100 000 women in South Korea. For men during the same period, the age-standardised incidence rates of papillary thyroid cancer per 100 000 person-years ranged from 1·2 cases per 100 000 in Thailand to 30·7 cases per 100 000 in South Korea. In many countries in Asia, the increase in papillary thyroid cancer rates in women was particularly pronounced after the year 2000; rates stabilised since around 2009 in the USA, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Lithuania, and Bulgaria. Temporal trends for follicular and medullary thyroid cancer did not show consistent patterns across countries, but slight decreases were seen for anaplastic thyroid cancer in 21 of 25 countries between 1998-2002, and 2008-12. In 2008-12, age-standardised rates for the follicular subtype ranged between 0·5 and 2·5 cases per 100 000 women (and between 0·3 and 1·5 per 100 000 men), while those for the medullary subtype were always less than 1 case per 100 000 women or men, and for anaplastic thyroid cancer less than 0·2 cases per 100 000 women or men.

Interpretation: In the period from 1998 to 2012, the rapid increases in thyroid cancer incidence were observed only for papillary thyroid cancer, the subtype more likely to be found in a subclinical form and therefore detected by intense scrutiny of the thyroid gland.

Funding: French Institut National du Cancer, Italian Association for Cancer Research, Italian Ministry of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(21)00027-9DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparison of breast cancer and cervical cancer stage distributions in ten newly independent states of the former Soviet Union: a population-based study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03 5;22(3):361-369. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

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

Background: Screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union is largely opportunistic, and countries in the region have among the highest cervical cancer incidence in the WHO European Region. We aimed to compare the stage-specific distributions and changes over time in breast cancer and cervical cancer incidence in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

Methods: We collected breast cancer and cervical cancer incidence data from official statistics from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan for the years 2008-17 by tumour, node, metastasis (TNM) stage, and by age where population-based cancer registry data were available. We used log-linear regression to quantify the changes over time in age-standardised rates.

Findings: During the period 2013-17, more than 50% of breast cancer cases across the analysed countries, and more than 75% of breast cancer cases in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, were registered at stages I-II. The proportion of stage I breast cancer cases was highest in the screening age group (50-69 years) compared with other ages in Moldova and the Russian registries, but was highest in those aged 15-49 years in Georgia and Ukraine. Breast cancer stage-specific incidence rates increased over time, most prominently for stage I cancers. For cervical cancer, the proportions of cancers diagnosed at a late stage (stages III and IV) were high, particularly in Moldova and Armenia (>50%). The proportion of stage I cervical cancer cases decreased with age in all countries, whereas the proportions of late stage cancers increased with age. Stage-specific incidence rates of cervical cancer generally increased over the period 2008-17.

Interpretation: Our results suggest modest progress in early detection of breast cancer in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The high proportions of early-stage disease in the absence of mammography screening (eg, in Belarus) provide a benchmark for what is achievable with rapid diagnosis. For cervical cancer, there is a need to tackle the high burden and unfavourable stage-specific changes over time in the region. A radical shift in national policies away from opportunistic screening toward organised, population-based, quality-assured human papillomavirus vaccination and screening programmes is urgently needed.

Funding: Union for International Cancer Control, WHO Regional Office for Europe, and Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30674-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8014987PMC
March 2021

Gender inequalities in cancer among young adults.

Lancet Oncol 2021 02;22(2):166-167

Section of Cancer Surveillance, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon,69008, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00001-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries.

CA Cancer J Clin 2021 May 4;71(3):209-249. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

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

This article provides an update on the global cancer burden using the GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Worldwide, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) occurred in 2020. Female breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung (11.4%), colorectal (10.0 %), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (5.6%) cancers. Lung cancer remained the leading cause of cancer death, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18%), followed by colorectal (9.4%), liver (8.3%), stomach (7.7%), and female breast (6.9%) cancers. Overall incidence was from 2-fold to 3-fold higher in transitioned versus transitioning countries for both sexes, whereas mortality varied <2-fold for men and little for women. Death rates for female breast and cervical cancers, however, were considerably higher in transitioning versus transitioned countries (15.0 vs 12.8 per 100,000 and 12.4 vs 5.2 per 100,000, respectively). The global cancer burden is expected to be 28.4 million cases in 2040, a 47% rise from 2020, with a larger increase in transitioning (64% to 95%) versus transitioned (32% to 56%) countries due to demographic changes, although this may be further exacerbated by increasing risk factors associated with globalization and a growing economy. Efforts to build a sustainable infrastructure for the dissemination of cancer prevention measures and provision of cancer care in transitioning countries is critical for global cancer control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3322/caac.21660DOI Listing
May 2021

Global demand for cancer surgery and an estimate of the optimal surgical and anaesthesia workforce between 2018 and 2040: a population-based modelling study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 02 21;22(2):182-189. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, South West Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Background: The growing demand for cancer surgery has placed a global strain on health systems. In-depth analyses of the global demand for cancer surgery and optimal workforce requirements are needed to plan service provision. We estimated the global demand for cancer surgery and the requirements for an optimal surgical and anaesthesia workforce, using benchmarks based on clinical guidelines.

Methods: Using models of benchmark surgical use based on clinical guidelines, we estimated the proportion of cancer cases with an indication for surgery across 183 countries, stratified by income group. These proportions were multiplied by age-adjusted national estimates of new cancer cases using GLOBOCAN 2018 data and then aggregated to obtain the estimated number of surgical procedures required globally. The numbers of cancer surgical procedures in 44 high-income countries were divided by the actual number of surgeons and anaesthetists in the respective countries to calculate cancer procedures per surgeon and anaesthetist ratios. Using the median (IQR) of these ratios as benchmarks, we developed a three-tiered optimal surgical and anaesthesia workforce matrix, and the predictions were extrapolated up to 2040.

Findings: Our model estimates that the number of cancer cases globally with an indication for surgery will increase by 5 million procedures (52%) between 2018 (9 065 000) and 2040 (13 821 000). The greatest relative increase in surgical demand will occur in 34 low-income countries, where we also observed the largest gaps in workforce requirements. To match the median benchmark for high-income countries, the surgical workforce in these countries would need to increase by almost four times and the anaesthesia workforce by nearly 5·5 times. The greatest increase in optimal workforce requirements from 2018 to 2040 will occur in low-income countries (from 28 000 surgeons to 58 000 surgeons; 107% increase), followed by lower-middle-income countries (from 166 000 surgeons to 277 000 surgeons; 67% increase).

Interpretation: The global demand for cancer surgery and the optimal workforce are predicted to increase over the next two decades and disproportionately affect low-income countries. These estimates provide an appropriate framework for planning the provision of surgical services for cancer worldwide.

Funding: University of New South Wales Scientia Scholarship and UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30675-6DOI Listing
February 2021

Global patterns and trends in incidence and mortality of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents: a population-based study.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2021 03 19;9(3):144-152. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

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

Background: There has been a considerable increase in thyroid cancer incidence among adults in several countries in the past three decades, attributed primarily to overdiagnosis. We aimed to assess global patterns and trends in incidence and mortality of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents, in view of the increased incidence among adults.

Methods: We did a population-based study of the observed incidence (in 49 countries and territories) and mortality (in 27 countries) of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents aged 0-19 years using data from the International Incidence of Childhood Cancer Volume 3 study database, the WHO mortality database, and the cancer incidence in five continents database (CI5plus; for adult data [age 20-74 years]). We analysed temporal trends in incidence rates, including absolute changes in rates, and the strength of the correlation between incidence rates in children and adolescents and in adults. We calculated the average annual number of thyroid cancer deaths and the age-standardised mortality rates for children and adolescents.

Findings: Age-standardised incidence rates of thyroid cancer among children and adolescents aged 0-19 years ranged from 0·4 (in Uganda and Kenya) to 13·4 (in Belarus) cancers per 1 million person-years in 2008-12. The variability in the incidence rates was mostly accounted for by the papillary tumour subtype. Incidence rates were almost always higher in girls than in boys and increased with age in both sexes. Rapid increases in incidence between 1998-2002 and 2008-12 were observed in almost all countries. Country-specific incidence rates in children and adolescents were strongly correlated (r>0·8) with rates in adults, as were the temporal changes in the respective incidence rates (r>0·6). Thyroid cancer deaths in those aged younger than 20 years were less than 0·1 per 10 million person-years in each country.

Interpretation: The pattern of thyroid cancer incidence in children and adolescents mirrors the pattern seen in adults, suggesting a major role for overdiagnosis, which, in turn, can lead to overtreatment, lifelong medical care, and side effects that can negatively affect quality of life. We suggest that the existing recommendation against screening for thyroid cancer in the asymptomatic adult population who are free from specific risk factors should be extended to explicitly recommend against screening for thyroid cancer in similar populations of children and adolescents.

Funding: International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Union for International Cancer Control; French Institut National du Cancer; Italian Association of Cancer Research; and Italian Ministry of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30401-0DOI Listing
March 2021

The impact of excluding or including Death Certificate Initiated (DCI) cases on estimated cancer survival: A simulation study.

Cancer Epidemiol 2021 Apr 10;71(Pt A):101881. Epub 2021 Jan 10.

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

Background: Population-based cancer registries strive to cover all cancer cases diagnosed within the population, but some cases will always be missed and no register is 100 % complete. Many cancer registries use death certificates to identify additional cases not captured through other routine sources, to hopefully add a large proportion of the missed cases. Cases notified through this route, who would not have been captured without death certificate information, are referred to as Death Certificate Initiated (DCI) cases. Inclusion of DCI cases in cancer registries increases completeness and is important for estimating cancer incidence. However, inclusion of DCI cases will generally lead to biased estimates of cancer survival, but the same is often also true if excluding DCI cases. Missed cases are probably not a random sample of all cancer cases, but rather cases with poor prognosis. Further, DCI cases have poorer prognosis than missed cases in general, since they have all died with cancer mentioned on the death certificates.

Methods: We performed a simulation study to estimate the impact of including or excluding DCI cases on cancer survival estimates, under different scenarios.

Results: We demonstrated that including DCI cases underestimates survival. The exclusion of DCI cases gives unbiased survival estimates if missed cases are a random sample of all cancer cases, while survival is overestimated if these have poorer prognosis.

Conclusion: In our most extreme scenarios, with 25 % of cases initially missed, the usual practice of including DCI cases underestimated 5-year survival by at most 3 percentage points.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101881DOI Listing
April 2021

Exploring the impact of cancer registry completeness on international cancer survival differences: a simulation study.

Br J Cancer 2021 Mar 9;124(5):1026-1032. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

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

Background: Data from population-based cancer registries are often used to compare cancer survival between countries or regions. The ICBP SURVMARK-2 study is an international partnership aiming to quantify and explore the reasons behind survival differences across high-income countries. However, the magnitude and relevance of differences in cancer survival between countries have been questioned, as it is argued that observed survival variations may be explained, at least in part, by differences in cancer registration practice, completeness and the availability and quality of the respective data sources.

Methods: As part of the ICBP SURVMARK-2 study, we used a simulation approach to better understand how differences in completeness, the characteristics of those missed and inclusion of cases found from death certificates can impact on cancer survival estimates.

Results: Bias in 1- and 5-year net survival estimates for 216 simulated scenarios is presented. Out of the investigated factors, the proportion of cases not registered through sources other than death certificates, had the largest impact on survival estimates.

Conclusion: Our results show that the differences in registration practice between participating countries could in our most extreme scenarios explain only a part of the largest observed differences in cancer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01196-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7921088PMC
March 2021

WORLD CANCER RESEARCH DAY: A Call to Action for a Coordinated International Research Effort to Prevent, Diagnose, and Treat Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Feb 30;27(4):963-966. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Rockville, Maryland.

Cancer is a major public health problem and the second leading cause of death worldwide. The burden of cancer continues to grow and is projected to double by 2040. This situation calls for coordinated action and emphasizes the need to join efforts on worldwide initiatives, including World Cancer Research Day (WCRD), which aims to create and consolidate a yearly momentum to raise awareness and commitment for research on cancer. Cancer research is a key driver of advances in prevention and therapeutic strategies that will benefit tomorrow's cancer patients. In 2016, 10 international organizations partnered to launch the WCRD initiative. Five years later, a total of 89 organizations and more than half a million people have joined this global movement that helps raise awareness of the importance of cancer research, demonstrating that a collaborative research culture is essential to address current challenges and create opportunities to accelerate impactful cancer research for a better future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2978DOI Listing
February 2021

Progress, challenges and ways forward supporting cancer surveillance in Latin America.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jul 14;149(1):12-20. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

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

Population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) are the only means to provide reliable incidence and survival data as a basis for policy-making and resource allocations within cancer care. Yet, less than 3% and 10% of the respective populations of Central America and South America are covered by high-quality cancer registries. The Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development provides support to improve this situation via the International Agency for Research on Cancer Regional Hub for Latin America. In this paper, we summarize activities (advocacy, technical assistance, training and research) over the last 5 years, their impact and current challenges, including the implementation of new PBCR in four countries in the region. Despite the favorable political support to cancer registration in many countries, the sustainability of cancer registration remains vulnerable. Renewed efforts are needed to improve data quality in Latin America while ensuring maximum visibility of the data collected by disseminating and promoting their use in cancer control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33407DOI Listing
July 2021

Estimates of the global burden of cervical cancer associated with HIV.

Lancet Glob Health 2021 02 16;9(2):e161-e169. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Programmes, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: HIV enhances human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced carcinogenesis. However, the contribution of HIV to cervical cancer burden at a population level has not been quantified. We aimed to investigate cervical cancer risk among women living with HIV and to estimate the global cervical cancer burden associated with HIV.

Methods: We did a systematic literature search and meta-analysis of five databases (PubMed, Embase, Global Health [CABI.org], Web of Science, and Global Index Medicus) to identify studies analysing the association between HIV infection and cervical cancer. We estimated the pooled risk of cervical cancer among women living with HIV across four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America). The risk ratio (RR) was combined with country-specific UNAIDS estimates of HIV prevalence and GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cervical cancer to calculate the proportion of women living with HIV among women with cervical cancer and population attributable fractions and age-standardised incidence rates (ASIRs) of HIV-attributable cervical cancer.

Findings: 24 studies met our inclusion criteria, which included 236 127 women living with HIV. The pooled risk of cervical cancer was increased in women living with HIV (RR 6·07, 95% CI 4·40-8·37). Globally, 5·8% (95% CI 4·6-7·3) of new cervical cancer cases in 2018 (33 000 new cases, 95% CI 26 000-42 000) were diagnosed in women living with HIV and 4·9% (95% CI 3·6-6·4) were attributable to HIV infection (28 000 new cases, 20 000-36 000). The most affected regions were southern Africa and eastern Africa. In southern Africa, 63·8% (95% CI 58·9-68·1) of women with cervical cancer (9200 new cases, 95% CI 8500-9800) were living with HIV, as were 27·4% (23·7-31·7) of women in eastern Africa (14 000 new cases, 12 000-17 000). ASIRs of HIV-attributable cervical cancer were more than 20 per 100 000 in six countries, all in southern Africa and eastern Africa.

Interpretation: Women living with HIV have a significantly increased risk of cervical cancer. HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening for women living with HIV are especially important for countries in southern Africa and eastern Africa, where a substantial HIV-attributable cervical cancer burden has added to the existing cervical cancer burden.

Funding: WHO, US Agency for International Development, and US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30459-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7815633PMC
February 2021

Age disparities in stage-specific colon cancer survival across seven countries: An International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership SURVMARK-2 population-based study.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 14;148(7):1575-1585. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

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

We sought to understand the role of stage at diagnosis in observed age disparities in colon cancer survival among people aged 50 to 99 years using population-based cancer registry data from seven high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom. We used colon cancer incidence data for the period 2010 to 2014. We estimated the 3-year net survival, as well as the 3-year net survival conditional on surviving at least 6 months and 1 year after diagnosis, by country and stage at diagnosis (categorised as localised, regional or distant) using flexible parametric excess hazard regression models. In all countries, increasing age was associated with lower net survival. For example, 3-year net survival (95% confidence interval) was 81% (80-82) for 50 to 64 year olds and 58% (56-60) for 85 to 99 year olds in Australia, and 74% (73-74) and 39% (39-40) in the United Kingdom, respectively. Those with distant stage colon cancer had the largest difference in colon cancer survival between the youngest and the oldest patients. Excess mortality for the oldest patients with localised or regional cancers was observed during the first 6 months after diagnosis. Older patients diagnosed with localised (and in some countries regional) stage colon cancer who survived 6 months after diagnosis experienced the same survival as their younger counterparts. Further studies examining other prognostic clinical factors such as comorbidities and treatment, and socioeconomic factors are warranted to gain further understanding of the age disparities in colon cancer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33326DOI Listing
April 2021

The world cancer patient population (WCPP): An updated standard for international comparisons of population-based survival.

Cancer Epidemiol 2020 12 14;69:101802. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

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

Purpose: This study addresses the need for a global cancer patient-based standard population that adjusts for the expected age structure of different cancers, thus aiding the comparison of survival estimates worldwide.

Methods: Counts of age-specific incidence for 36 cancer sites in 185 countries for the year 2018 were extracted from IARC's GLOBOCAN database of national estimates. We used a multinomial mixture regression to identify clusters of cancer sites with similar age-specific profiles.

Results: An updated standard entitled the World Cancer Patient Population (WCPP) is presented, derived from the current estimated global numbers of cancer patients that comprises three sets of age-specific weights. Around two-thirds of cancer sites were described by a unique standard, representing the majority of epithelial cancers more often diagnosed at older age groups. The two other standards represent a number of non-epithelial cancer types, and cancers common at younger and older age groups, respectively.

Conclusion: The WCPP proposed here provides a contemporary and global means to estimate age-standardised survival for international benchmarking purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768180PMC
December 2020

Estimated global cancer incidence in the oldest adults in 2018 and projections to 2050.

Int J Cancer 2021 Feb 17;148(3):601-608. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

Using GLOBOCAN estimates, we describe the estimated cancer incidence among adults aged 80 years or older at the regional and global level in 2018, reporting the number of new cancer cases, and the truncated age-standardised incidence rates (per 100 000) for all cancer sites combined for this age group. We also presented the five most frequent cancers diagnosed by region and globally among females and males aged 65 to 79 years old and 80 years or older. We, finally, estimated the number of new cancer cases in 2050, the proportion of cases aged 80 years or older, and the proportional increase between 2018 and 2050 by region, by applying population projections to the 2018 incidence rates. In 2018, an estimated 2.3 million new cancer cases (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) were aged 80 years or older worldwide (13% of all cancer cases), with large variation in the profiles at regional levels. Globally, breast, lung and colon were the most common cancer sites diagnosed in the oldest females, while prostate, lung and colon were most frequent in the oldest males. In 2050, an estimated 6.9 million new cancers will be diagnosed in adults aged 80 years or older worldwide (20.5% of all cancer cases). Due to the complexity of cancer management in the oldest patients, the expected increase will challenge healthcare systems worldwide, posing a tangible economic and social impact on families and society. It is time to consider the oldest population in cancer control policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754149PMC
February 2021

Use of cancer data for cancer control in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Results of a survey among population-based cancer registries.

Int J Cancer 2021 Feb 13;148(3):593-600. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

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

Data from population-based cancer registries (PBCR) are critical for planning, monitoring and evaluation of cancer control programs, but are frequently underutilized by key stakeholders. As part of the ongoing partnership of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) in cancer surveillance, we designed a cancer registry survey to assess the level of involvement of PBCR in national cancer control planning across the region. A questionnaire on registry characteristics, their contribution to cancer control and perceived barriers, was sent to 14 countries with operational PBCR. We obtained replies from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. We found a high participation of PBCR in cancer control planning (all registries involved, 46% routinely) and the evaluation of screening (92% registries involved, 46% routinely), but a much lower level of participation in palliative care and rehabilitation activities. Specified barriers included poor governance, a lack of awareness by policy makers, insufficient resources and a limited availability of data electronically, including mortality data. Appropriate planning to ensure the sustainability of PBCR (including the employment of permanent staff), increasing training, building research capacity and ensuring an efficient provision of high-quality data to policymakers, were among the proposed solutions. The results of our study reinforce the need for further tailoring of activities in support of cancer registration and enhanced networking among stakeholders, toward improving quality and use of cancer registry data for cancer control in the EMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33223DOI Listing
February 2021

The European response to the WHO call to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem.

Int J Cancer 2021 01 4;148(2):277-284. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

The age-standardised incidence of cervical cancer in Europe varies widely by country (between 3 and 25/100000 women-years) in 2018. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage is low in countries with the highest incidence and screening performance is heterogeneous among European countries. A broad group of delegates of scientific professional societies and cancer organisations endorse the principles of the WHO call to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem, also in Europe. All European nations should, by 2030, reach at least 90% HPV vaccine coverage among girls by the age of 15 years and also boys, if cost-effective; they should introduce organised population-based HPV-based screening and achieve 70% of screening coverage in the target age group, providing also HPV testing on self-samples for nonscreened or underscreened women; and to manage 90% of screen-positive women. To guide member states, a group of scientific professional societies and cancer organisations engage to assist in the rollout of a series of concerted evidence-based actions. European health authorities are requested to mandate a group of experts to develop the third edition of European Guidelines for Quality Assurance of Cervical Cancer prevention based on integrated HPV vaccination and screening and to monitor the progress towards the elimination goal. The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, having interrupted prevention activities temporarily, should not deviate stakeholders from this ambition. In the immediate postepidemic phase, health professionals should focus on high-risk women and adhere to cost-effective policies including self-sampling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754400PMC
January 2021

Cancer registration in China and its role in cancer prevention and control.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07;21(7):e342-e349

National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer /Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Cancer has become a leading cause of death in China, with an increasing burden of cancer incidence and mortality observed over the past half century. Population-based cancer registries have been operating in China for about 60 years, and, in 2018, their role has expanded to include the formulation and evaluation of national cancer control programmes and the care of patients with cancer. The purpose of this Review is to provide an overview of the key milestones in the development of cancer registration in China, the current status of registry coverage and quality, and a description of the changing cancer profile in China from 1973 to 2015. This Review is a comprehensive and updated review on the development of population-based cancer registries in China over a 60-year time span. We highlight some aspects of cancer control plans that illustrate how cancer registration data have become central to the identification of health priorities for China and provide a means to track progress in cancer control for the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30073-5DOI Listing
July 2020

Cancer incidence and cancer control in Bangkok, Thailand: Results from the cancer registry 2011-15 and projections to 2035.

Cancer Epidemiol 2020 08 23;67:101765. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Cancer Surveillance Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Background: With considerable diversity in the patterns of cancer in different regions of Thailand and between urban vs. rural areas, this report focuses on cancer incidence burden in the Bangkok Metropolis 2011-15.

Methods: Incidence rates in Bangkok were derived as the mean annual number of new cancer cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the period 2011-2015 stratified by 5-year age group and sex. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) were calculated using the world standard population.

Results: The five most frequent cancers in Bangkok correspond to close to 60 % of the total burden in both males and females. In males, cancers of the lung, liver and colorectum each comprised 14-16 % of the burden, while breast cancer was responsible for three in 10 cancers in women (or 29.4 %), with colorectal and cervical cancer ranking second and third (10.0 % and 8.5 % respectively). respectively. Under three different scenarios of trends in all-cancer incidence rates, demographic changes mean that the incidence burden will rise over the next two decades.

Conclusions: The critical relevance of this information in the context of the planning and evaluation of national cancer control policies in Thailand is discussed. Evidently, the Bangkok and other Thai population-based cancer registries are essential in measuring the population-level impact of tobacco control, HBV and HPV vaccination, cervical and colorectal cancer screening, and via survival estimation, the effectiveness of cancer care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101765DOI Listing
August 2020

Molecular Characterization of Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma in the Era of Next-generation Sequencing: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature.

Eur Urol 2020 08 20;78(2):209-220. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA; Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Context: While upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) share histological appearance with bladder cancer (BC), the former has differences in etiology and clinical phenotype consistent with characteristic molecular alterations.

Objective: To systematically evaluate current genomic sequencing and proteomic data examining molecular alterations in UTUC.

Evidence Acquisition: A systematic review using PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science was performed in December 2019 according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses statement.

Evidence Synthesis: A total of 46 publications were selected for inclusion in this report, including 13 studies assessing genome-wide alterations, 18 studies assessing gene expression or microRNA expression profiles, three studies assessing proteomics, one study assessing genome-wide DNA methylation, and 14 studies evaluating distinct pathway alteration patterns. Differences between sporadic and hereditary UTUC, and between UTUC and BC, as well as molecular profiles associated with exposure to aristolochic acid are highlighted. Molecular pathways relevant to UTUC biology, such as alterations in FGFR3, TP53, or microsatellite instability, are discussed. Our findings are limited by tumor and patient heterogeneity and different platforms used in the studies.

Conclusions: Molecular events in UTUC and BC can be shared or distinct. Consequently, molecular subtypes differ according to location. Further work is needed to define the epigenomic and proteomic features of UTUC, and understand the mechanisms by which they shape the clinical behavior of UTUC.

Patient Summary: We report the current data on the molecular alterations specific to upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), resulting from novel genomic and proteomic technologies. Although UTUC biology is comparable with that of bladder cancer, the rates and UTUC-enriched alterations support its uniqueness and the need for precision medicine strategies for this rare tumor type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.05.039DOI Listing
August 2020