IACR Newsletter No. 50, March 2018

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In this Issue:

Message from the IACR President, Tomohiro Matsuda

Project Developments
  • SurvMark
  • CRPM3
Announcements and Reminders 
  • IACR New Members
  • IACR Association Dues 2018
  • IACR Elections for Board of Directors
  • IACR Call for Proposals: Hosting the Next Annual Scientific Conferences

Newly Published Articles from the IARC - GICR Team
  • IARC press release on the cancer cost in productivity in the BRICc countries 
  • Cancer surveillance in northern Africa, and central and western Asia: challenges and strategies in support of developing cancer registries

GICR: Updates and Hub Highlights
  • Global Updates
  • Carribean 
  • North Africa and Central and West Asia
  • Latin America
  • South, East and South-Eastern Asia
  • Sub Saharan Africa
  • Pacific Islands
It is a great personal honour to assume the role of IACR President.  This is a position which carries much responsibility to ensure meaningful progress for the Association.

We thank you for your participation in the various activities of the past year, the highlight of which was the
39th IACR Scientific Conference in Utrecht in October 2017, and in the various projects and collaborations promoting cancer registry development. We are happy to share news on major changes and events taking place, the details are announced in this newsletter. Please do take the time to read to the bottom, as this edition is filled with information on the learning opportunities organized by our hubs, networks and partners, as well as the reports and other resource materials made available to the membership.  

Please forward the information to colleagues and feel free to send us news about your registries' ongoing projects. I look forward to seeing you in
Arequipa, Peru for IACR 2018 and wish you a productive year with many successful endeavors.

Tomohiro Matsuda
IACR President 

Project Developments:

Data Collection for Survival Studies:  IARC SURVCAN-3 Webinars 

1.  Data Collection for Survival Studies: follow-up using passive and active methods (available in English and Spanish);

2.  Data Collection for Survival Studies: data quality and assessment for survival analysis (available in English and Spanish) 

Editorial tables with comments will be sent back in February - April 2018.


IARC SurvMark:  

Interviews with the involved registries on classification and registry practice together with University of Leicester, Cancer registry of Norway and Karolinska Institute. Photos below: Iabelle Soerjomataram with the Cancer Society of New Zealand; Helen Farrugia of Cancer Council Victoria.  For those registries that are interested in participating in SURVCAN-3 or have questions, please contact the SURVCAN-3 team at


Announcements and Reminders:

CanReg5 update

The main features added were improved analytic reporting, including options to create PowerPoint slides directly from CanReg5. To take advantage of the modifications, it is advised that users first ‘uninstall CanReg’ through the menu tab and then download the latest version (link to the IACR CanReg page: HERE). 

New IACR Members


IACR is pleased to welcome its new members:

-National Child Cancer Registry to Chile (RENCI), Registry Network Voting Member;
-Dr Lisa Force, Individual Member;
-Seychelles National Cancer Registry, Full Voting Member;

-Gulf Centre for Cancer Control and Prevention (GCCCP), Registry Network Voting Member;
-National Cancer Registry of Moldova, Full Voting Member;
-Trapani Cancer Registry, Full Voting Member;
-Aargau Cancer Registry, Full Voting Member;
-Saudi Cancer Registry; Full Voting Member;

-Dr Michel Coleman, Individual Member
-Baja Cancer Registry, Full Voting Member;
-Registro de Cancer de Baja California Sur, Full Voting Member.

IACR Membership Dues: Reminder 


IACR thanks the registries who have paid their annual dues for 2017.  The IACR Board has voted to adopt a new schedule fees after having kept the same rates for 2017 and 2016.  The invoices for 2018 are under preparation and will be sent electronically in March 2018.  The Association heavily relies on these to continue with its activities.  For any question on IACR membership, please email us at

IACR 2018 Elections 


The IACR elections will be held this year for the following posts:

IACR President-Elect
2 Regional Representatives for Asia;
1 Regional Representative for Europe;
1 Regional Representative for Latin America;
1 Regional Representative for North America.

The new representatives will take office in Arequipa, Peru in November 2018.

IACR Call for Proposals to host the next Annual Scientific Conferences


IACR invites proposals from cancer registries to host our next annual conferences: 2020 – 2022 in the region of North America, Asia and Africa respectively.

Hosting an IACR Scientific Conference involves establishing a local organizing committee involving local or regional partners to help the IACR Executive Committee develop the programme, meeting arrangements and management of the conference.

Cancer registries that are interested in hosting the 2020 – 2022 conferences scheduled for North America, Asia and Africa are asked to declare their interest by submitting a brief proposal via email ( listing proposed location, local organizing committee members and rationale to the Association before July 2018.

The proposals will be reviewed by the IACR Board and selected candidates will be invited to make a presentation during the IACR Board of Directors meeting and the IACR Business Meeting, both of which are held during the Association’s Annual Scientific Conference.

Newly Published:


$46 billion in productivity lost to cancer in major emerging economies

A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology evaluates for the first time the cost of productivity lost due to premature cancer deaths in several major emerging economies.  IARC, in partnership with leading cancer research institutions in Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa, collectively known as the BRICS countries, found that the productivity loss in reached $46.3 billion in 2012Click on the title article to link to the IARC Press Release.

Cancer surveillance in northern Africa, and central and western Asia: challenges and strategies in support of developing cancer registries

In this Series paper, we advocate the necessity for tailored approaches to cancer registration given the rapidly changing cancer landscape for this region, and the challenges faced at a national level in developing data systems to help support this process given present disparities in resources and health infrastructure. In addition, we provide an overview of the status of cancer surveillance and activities country-by-country, documenting tailored approaches that are informing local cancer-control policy, and potentially curbing the growing cancer burden across the region.
Global Initiative for Cancer Reg Devt logo

Updates from the GICR Project Team and Partners



The GICR Cancer Coding & Staging Workshop

As part of the GICR’s activities to strengthen regional capacity and increase support available to local cancer registries, the week-long workshop: Cancer Coding and Staging, a Train the Trainers Masterclasswas organized with Dr Marion Pineros, Dr Ariana Znaor of IARC, Dr Max Parkin (AFCRN and University of Oxford) and Dr Kevin Ward (Georgia Cancer Registry and Emory University) as lead faculty. Learning resources were discussed to unify criteria and develop the necessary training and reference materials and enable participants to serve as experts in general aspects of ICD-O-3 coding and Essential TNM Staging within their Hub regions. Final materials will be available in 2018. 

Twenty participants from 19 countries were brought together in this workshop on 4-8 December 2017 through funding by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO-Euro) and IARC. This course is part of
GICRnet which seeks to develop a sustainable network of experts in specific topics within IARC Hub regions, interacting with cancer registries to help identify issues and priority actions and contribute to capacity building in respective regions.

New GICR Co-Funding Model

As part of the GICR’s activities to strengthen regional capacity and building on the initial phase of the GICR, a new approach will be introduced to focus on target countries that have been identified with the potential for change together with a co-financing model. Three to five GICR Partner Countries in each Hub region will be selected, where a joint work plan will be implemented and monitored. 




Dr Glennis Andall-Brereton (Hub PI), Mr Nkosi Husbands and Ms Betty Carballo (GICRNet CanReg expert from the Latin American Hub) visited Jamaica in November to assist with CanReg5 issues. All regions now have CanReg5 setup as a network and are expected to start to enter data in the near future. 

Poster presentations on the Caribbean Hub were presented at the Conference of the African Caribbean Consortium on Cancer and at the IACR 2017 Scientific Conference in Utrecht.  

A webinar with Caribbean stakeholders to share the revised version of the Caribbean Cancer Registry Standard Operating Procedures Manual and to facilitate further stakeholder input is planned for October 2017.

North Africa and Central and West Asia (Izmir Hub)

GICRNet CanReg expert, Dr Anton Ryzhov visited Uzbekistan on 24 – 26 October as a member of the First UN Joint Global Programme on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Inception Mission organized by WHO EURO. 

A site visit to Turkmenistan was held in the scope of the agreement with WHO EURO (Hub PI, Dr Sultan Eser) on 15 – 17 November.

The United Arab Emirates Cancer Registry team visited the Izmir Cancer Registry on 12 – 13 October for on-site training and technical support for CanReg5. 

Dr Ariana Znaor visited the Casablanca Cancer Registry in Morocco on 24 November 2017 to discuss cancer registration procedures and capacity building in the region.

An Action Plan with WHO EMRO for activities in 2018 is being finalized.


Latin America

Paraguay.  An agreement was signed with Paraguay to advance cancer registration in Asuncion City. Dr Graciela Abriata performed a follow-up visit to Paraguay, taking advantage of her participation in a Congress on NCD Surveillance [XIV “Conferencia Internacional de la Red de Vigilancia de las Enfermedades Crónicas de las Américas -AMNET-“] in Asunción in October.

Agreements with INC Argentina and Colombia, and with National Cancer Registry of Uruguay (all finishing in 2017) will be extended.

Dr G Abriata participated in the cancer surveillance roundtable at the WHO World Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases in Montevideo, Uruguay. She presented the GICR model and experience in Latin America.

Dr G Abriata participated in the Brazilian Congress of Epidemiology in Florianopolis, Brazil in October 2017.

Dr M Piñeros presented GICR updates in a Cancer Registration Symposium organized by the Merida Cancer Registry, in the context of the Annual Research Conference of the Mexican Social Security System Research (October 2017).

A workshop on cancer registries with Latin American NGOs and Cancer Societies was organized by the UICC within the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Mexico last November 2017.
Meetings took place in November with the surveillance team of the National Cancer Institute of Mexico and the Merida Cancer Registry to discuss advances, plans and work on a short communication with preliminary results. 

A site visit to Dominican Republic was held in January 2018 by Dr Clarisse Joachim with the support of the French Embassy and the interest of the National Cancer Institute in DR.

South, East and South-Eastern Asia (Mumbai Hub)

The National Cancer Center China signed an agreement to become the newest IARC GICR Collaborating Centre for East Asia with Dr Wanqing Chen, Deputy Director, serving as the Principle Investigator. 

L Mery participated with a group from IARC in meetings and a conference organized by the China National Cancer Centre, Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in November.

From 22 – 28 November, five participants from Nepal (within the Medical Health Research Council) visited the Mumbai Hub at the Tata Memorial Centre for tailored training and mentorship. The programme focused on established a population-based cancer registry, reviewing the essential requirements, steps and practical issues required. At the completion of the course, a CanReg5 database was created for the planned Kathmandu population-based cancer registry.  

A Collaborative Research Agreement between IARC and Myanmar was signed as the first GICR Partner Country. The work will focus on establishing a population-based cancer registry in Nay Pyi Taw as a basis for expansion to other regions within the country.  

Planning for the Second ASEAN Cancer Registry Forum in Bangkok (Thailand), to be held on 19 – 20 March 2018, is underway. Led by the National Cancer Institute of Thailand, the Forum will bring together cancer registry personnel from the region to exchange ideas and discuss the formation of an Asian Cancer Registry Network

A proposal to pilot clinical cancer registries in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore was approved in principal by the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). A more detailed protocol and planning meeting will be held with partners in March. 


Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr Eric Chokunonga assessed the establishment of the Ekurhuleni Cancer Registry in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 09 - 11 October. The aim was to help identify the major sources of information on cancer cases.  

Dr Eric Chokunonga conducted a consultancy tour to two cancer registries (Mwanza and Moshi) and one hospital site (Mbeya) in Tanzania from 25 October – 03 November. The visits formed part of the Tanzania National Cancer Registration Program, coordinated by the Vital Strategies and the
AFCRN, and is supported by the Bloomberg Foundation. Findings were a) CanReg support was needed for the Mwanza and Moshi cancer registries; b) a more in-depth inspection was needed for the Mbeya city and Mbeya district; c) an exploratory visit to Dodoma municipal district will be necessary. 

Dr Max Parkin participated at the cancer registration stakeholders meeting in Dar es Salaam on 21 - 24 November. Other meeting attendees included Dr Sarah Maongezi, Acting Assistant Director for NCD MoU Tanzania, medical professionals from cancer registries or hospitals in Tanzania, and representatives from the Vital Strategies.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring together all of the relevant stakeholders to discuss the current status of cancer registries in Tanzania, jointly identify MOH priorities pertaining to population-based cancer registries, and jointly draft a work plan that reflects these priorities. During the meeting, Dr Parkin presented the findings and recommendations provided by consultant Eric Chokunonga. 

In November, Dr Parkin also made a number of visits in Dar es Salaam (inc. to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Muhimbili Medical Centre and the Aga Khan Hospital). The objective of the visits was to review the current status of cancer registration in the major facilities with cancer treatment services in Dar, with a view to making plans for population based registration for the city. Several presentations involving the African Cancer Registry Network (AFRCN) and the Hub were made as part of the (African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) conference held in Kigali, Rwanda (7 -10 November). Specifically, sessions included one on cancer registries, Essential TNM and a round table discussion on biostatistics in cancer. 

F Bray and L Mery visited the Kampala Cancer Registry and the colleagues at the Medical Research Council in Uganda from 13 – 15 November.

F Bray and L Mery visited Malawi, 16 – 20 November 

An agreement between IARC, the East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) and the World Bank has been reached to provide support through the GICR to five east African countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The work will involve country assessments, recommendations, training and enhancements to CanReg. 


Pacific Islands


Stemming from funding support from the Australian Government provided to IARC to implement the Hub, a Pacific Islands Hub Planning Group was formed. The group is comprised of Joanne Aitken, Freddie Bray, Katina D'Onise, Sunia Foliaki, Les Mery, David Roder and Diana Sarfati.

A regional meeting with stakeholders was held on 21 February 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand with about 30 participants from 13 countries attending. The meeting's primary objective was to confirm support for PBCRs as a priority in the region with senior health leaders.  A smaller meeting was  held on 22 February to develop an action plan among key stakeholders. 
Yogyakarta 2018
Kathmandu, Nepal 2018
(Clockwise) 1st photo: IARC GICR (text and photos to follow)
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