GICR Newsletter, May  - October 2018

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In memoriam
Professor Supannee Promthet (11 September 1957 – 29 August 2018) .  It is with sadness that we announce the passing of our a long-standing collaborator based in Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Professor Promthet.  Read the detailed obituary here.

Luc Raymond (1935-2018). Founder of the Geneva Cancer Registry, Luc Raymond (1935-2018), passed away in Geneva on October 14.  A statistician close to his forties, in 1972 Dr Raymond established the Geneva Cancer Registry, of which he has been in charge until his retirement in 2001. The Geneva Registry was the first in its country and among the first in Southern Europe. Read the detailed obituary here.


The latest global estimates of the cancer burden were released this September. Using data submitted to Cancer Incidence in Five Continents Volume XI and other sources directly from countries, the estimates were released through GLOBOCAN 2018accessible online as part of IARC's Global Cancer Observatory.  Estimates of the overall incidence and mortality in 185 countries are presented, together with details for 36 cancer types. See also the accompanying release in the peer-reviewed, open-access paper by Bray et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

At the World Cancer Congress, held in Kalua Lumpur, Malaysia, a session entitled, Measuring to Control: Harnessing Local Data For Global Cancer Action, was organized by IARC. Dr Freddie Bray presented on the global cancer burden, followed by Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram on examples using descriptive epidemiology and Les Mery gave a talk on the work of the GICR to strengthen capacity. Dr Diana Sarfati, from Otago University, spoke on measuring cancer in Indigenous populations.  

The new Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR), website will soon be released in November. Updates will include news items from activities, additional information on all collaborators and details on the developments in each Hub region.

With the GICRNet, a model of regional trainers to support local capacity building, a third GICR Masterclass will be held at the Agency from 10 – 14 Dec 2018 led by IARC staff Mr Jacques Ferlay and Dr Freddie Bray. With funding from the US National Cancer Institute, the course will focus on data quality. The aim of the course is to develop a standardized set of teaching material and educational resources that the 18 – 20 IARC GICR Regional Trainers can use in each Hub region. The course compliments previous ones held on CanReg (2016) and Coding and Staging (2017). 

The fourth GICR Masterclass will focus on the theme of data analysis, to be held in conjunction with the 2019 IARC Summer School. Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram from IARC will serve as lead faculty.

The first module of the GICR Learning Platform, an online tool for cancer registries, is underway and will provide an introduction to the planning and organization of population-based cancer registries. The platform will allow users to access self-learning modules, exercises and a reference library of key educational sources. Content for each module will be drawn from GICRNet training material and the corresponding chapter in the IARC publication, Cancer Registration: Principles and Methods, where a new edition is being written with an expected release in 2019. IARC is currently seeking partners to help fund the development of the remaining modules. Those interested should contact the GICR staff.

CanReg5 update 43.  The 43rd update of CanReg5 will be released in early November 2018. The main focus of this revision is improved compatibility of the analytical functionality, especially the automatic report generator, as well as security improvements, for example optional stronger encryption of the database. Other smaller improvements are batch import and export of population datasets, simple dictionaries can have varying code lengths, as well as other bug fixes.  As always, CanReg5 is available for download for free from the IACR website at  For any queries regarding CanReg5 please contact:

IARCcrgTools.  A new version of the IARC/IACR edit checks is available, the IARCcrgTools package includes: an updated version of the Multiple primary check program which takes into consideration the new ICD-O-3 1st revision morphological codes; the ICD-O-3 1st revision to ICD-10 (2010 edition) conversion program used in the preparation of CI5 Vol. XI. Click here to download the latest version of IARCcrg Tools.

The IARC/WHO ICD-O Committee has updated the currently recommended ICD-O-3.1 classification (pdf available from: ICD-O, with new morphology codes and terms from the 4th series of WHO Classification of Tumours [Blue Books]). The new version, ICD-O-3.2, will be recommended for use from 2019. The IACR Working Group on ICD-O Updates has compiled a listing of additions, changes and revisions between ICD-O-3.1 and ICD-O-3.2 as a reference material for cancer registries. Documents are available for comment, click here for further details.

Updates from the IACR


IACR 40th Annual Scientific Conference

The scientific programme has been confirmed for the 40th IACR Annual Scientific Conference that will be held in Arequipa, Peru, from 13 – 15 November 2018.  The preconference workshops places are full, and we expect a fully-productive day for both topics: Quality of Cancer Registries (with Dr Marion Pineros and Dr Esther de Vries as faculty) and Cancer Registries and Cancer Control and Prevention (with Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram and Dr Guilermo Tortolero Luna as faculty.)

IACR 2018 Elections 
IACR elections were held this year and we are pleased to welcome the following as incoming members of the IACR Board of Directors: 

PRESIDENT-ELECT: Joanne Aitken (Australia)
RR ASIA: Wenqiang Wei (China)
RR ASIA: Young-Joo Won (South Korea)
RR EUROPE: Vesna Zadnik (Slovenia)
RR EUROPE: Marc Maynadié (France)
RR LATIN AMERICA: Luis Eduardo Bravo (Colombia)
RR NORTH AMERICA: Charles Wiggins (USA)
RR OCEANIA: Sylvie Laumond (New Caledonia)
The following incumbent officers will remain for their respective terms:
PRESIDENT: Tomohiro Matsuda (Japan)
RR AFRICA: Mohamed Hsairi (Tunisia)
RR NORTH AMERICA: Donna Turner (Canada)
RR ASIA: Rajesh Dikshit (India)
TREASURER: Stefano Rosso (Italy)

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



  • A workshop to train cancer registry staff from national cancer registries in Barbados, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago in the use of SEER*Stat to perform useful analyses using national mortality data was completed over the period May 15-17, 2018. GICRNet expert Gonçalo Forjaz served as faculty with support from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI).
  • The IARC Regional Hub for Cancer Registration for the Caribbean was officially inaugurated by Dr James Hospedales, Executive Director, CARPHA and Dr Freddie Bray of IARC on June 12, 2018 during the 26th Meeting of Chief Medical Officers of Health in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis. Chief Medical Officers of Health from 19 Caribbean countries were in attendance. 
  • A site visit to the Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda and to the British Virgin Islands was completed by Dr Glennis Andall-Brereton, Principle Investigator, IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub and Betsy Kohler, Executive Director, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) on September 27-28, 2018. Training in CanReg 5 was also provided by Nkosi Husbands (Caribbean Hub IT Specialist) to staff in the British Virgin Islands during the visit.
  • A proposal to support the development of a joint virtual cancer registry to support cancer registration in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States - a ten-member Caribbean country grouping – was developed in collaboration with the OECS Health Desk. This will be presented to the OECS Ministers of Health by the IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub on October 18, 2018.
  • Planned Activities for Q4, 2018 and Q1, 2019:  A workshop on Improving Standardization and Data Quality in Caribbean Cancer Registries is planned for Q4, 2018. Staff from cancer registries in ten Caribbean countries will be targeted.
  • The Programme Coordinator for the IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub, Ms. Sarah Quesnel-Crooks,  will attend the “Data Quality – Train the trainers” Workshop in December at IARC, Lyon, France.
  • A site visit to Guyana to assess national cancer registry operations is scheduled for Q1, 2019.

North Africa and Central and West Asia (Izmir Hub)
  • An NCD Surveillance Workshop for the team from Iraq was organized by WHO EMRO in Amman, Jordan, 3-6 April 2018. Dr Ariana Znaor participated as regional advisor for cancer surveillance.
  • A Basic Cancer Registration Workshop for the United Arab Emirates was organized by the UAE Ministry of Health in Dubai, 18-19 April 2018. GICRNet experts Dr Anton Ryzhov and Dr Ege Hamavioglu were on the faculty (photo below).
  • An IAEA IMPACT mission to Afghanistan was conducted in mid-May with Dr Sultan Eser as cancer registration expert.
  • GICRNet trainer Dr Anton Ryzhov with WHO EURO, was in Dushanbe, Tajikistan provide recommendations and support in CanReg5 installation. 
  • Dr Ryzhov likewise served as expert for cancer registration software in Georgia 24-26 October 2018 as facilitated by the Arctic University of Norway.  He provided recommendations on setting up cancer registration and cancer screening software
  • Upcoming Activities.  Dr Ariana Znaor Dr Marilys Corbex, WHO EURO will be at National Cancer Registry and one regional registry in the Russian Federation, 13-15 November 2018. 
  • Dr Ariana Znaor and Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram from the Cancer Surveillance Section, IARC will serve as faculty at NCD Surveillance Workshop for selected WHO EMRO countries in Cairo, Egypt, 26-30 November 2018.
  • An intermediate level IARC / WHO EURO cancer registration course for Russian-speaking participants will be conducted in Moldova in January 2019.
  • The Action Plan related to cancer control and prevention activities in late 2018 to late 2019 has drawn up with WHO EMRO.  This includes the conduct of a basic-level cancer registration course for EMRO countries in 2019.

Latin America

  • Dr Jacqueline Figueroa, of the Tegucigalpa Cancer Registry, Honduras, completed a two- week mentorship at the National Cancer Registry in Uruguay in May.
  • Two technical staff from the Population-Based Cancer Registry of Asunción, Paraguay completed a week-long mentorship stay at the Cancer Registry of Chaco, Argentina in June. This was made possible through the PAHO Country Office, Paraguay.
  • Dr Marion Piñeros participated and presentated work and updates on the GICR at the meeting of the Cancer Observatory organized by the Ministry of Health of Colombia and the National Cancer Institute in Bogota, Colombia in June.
  • The 2nd 2018 session of the Advisory Committee of the IARC GICR Latin American Hub took place on June 27.
  • Dr Katy Heise, GICRNet trainer, from the Valdivia Cancer Registry in Chile, served as coding and staging faculty at the VIII Meeting of Cancer registries in Ecuador in August. 
  • Dr Claudia Uribe, Bucaramanga Cancer Registry (Colombia) and GICRNet trainer, provided CanReg 5 support to the Cancer Registry of Valdivia in Chile.
  • The IAEA IMPACT Mission in Mexico was conducted in end-August - September with Dr Marion Piñeros participating as cancer registration expert.  Visits included the cancer registries of Jalisco and Campeche.
  • Dr Marion Piñeros and Dr Rafael Marcos Gragera, Girona, Spain served as faculty in the coding and staging training workshop for Colombian cancer registries in September, organized by the Colombian National Cancer Institute with support from PAHO Colombia. The workshop was also streamed online with 60-80 virtual participants from different countries.
  • The Regional Network of Cancer Institutes, RINC, functioning under the Union of South American Nations –UNASUR, was dissolved given the retirement of several countries from UNASUR. GICR expresses its gratitude for the support of various representatives who participated in the IARC GICR Hub Advisory Board, with special mention going to the RINC’s Executive Secretary, Walter Zoss.
  • Upcoming activities:  Dr Freddie Bray and Dr Marion Piñeros will be meeting with the National Cancer Registry in Uruguay early November.  This will recognize the support that has been provided by Uruguay to the registries of the region, discuss further collaboration with the IARC GICR LA Hub,  and share research updates.

South, East and South-Eastern Asia (Mumbai Hub)
  • The National Cancer Centre of the Republic of Korea was established as a new IARC/WHO GICR Collaborating Centre in Asia National Cancer Center of Korea. Complementing the IARC Mumbai Hub and other IARC GICR Collaborating Centers in China, IR Iran, Japan and Thailand, NCC Korea will focus on tailored training, educational resources and capacity building through the NCC’s Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy.
  • The National Cancer Centre Japan, in the capacity of an IARC GICR Collaborating Centre, delivered a basic three day training course in Hanoi, Vietnam in September 2018. The course covered topics in ICD-0-3 coding, quality control and basic data analysis. 
  • The National Cancer Centre Japan – IARC GICR Collaborating Centre, delivered a basic three day training course in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in September 2018. Led by Dr Tomohiro Matsuda (Japan), additional faculty included Dr Kumiko Saika (Japan), Ms Victoria Medina (Philippines – GICRNet Cancer Trainer) and Dr Donsuk Pongnikorn (Thailand). 
  • A group of five staff from the Afghanistan Ministry of Health visited the Mumbai Hub in August for a week to receive a tailored training course. Following the visit, a registry data collection form was developed and adopted as a customized version of CanReg5. Dr Rajesh Dikshit (Hub Principal Investigator) and Dr Atul Budukh have continued to support the group with plans for a second visit scheduled for November. 
  • With support from partners, a second PBCR in Myanmar is being developed in Yangon. The Mumbai Hub held a course in August to train staff on basic registry operations, evaluate data collection forms and suggest operational procedures. CanReg5 was modified to according to the changes and data collection is underway with more than 10 000 cases entered. Efforts to establish a PBCR in the capital, Naypyidaw, have continued to progress with staff assisting to share their experience in Yangon and elsewhere in the country.
  • In collaboration with the European Society for Medical Oncology, the Danish Cancer Society, and selected registries in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, IARC has launched a study to evaluate clinical outcomes in lung cancer. The study is expected to be conducted through to 2021 and will include capacity building workshops on data collection and analyses. 
Sub-Saharan Africa
  • TrainingHarare, Zimbabwe (28 May-1 June) a 4.5-day training course on childhood cancer registration was conducted in Harare, it covered classification of childhood cancer, recording of stage using the manual developed for use by African cancer registries, based on the “Toronto” system (as in the latest TNM Manual), and of follow up for calculation of survival. Eight students from Uganda, Zambia, Swaziland and Bulawayo (Zim) attended.
  • CanReg onsite training. In May, Franco Afyusisye (Mwanza CR) conducted a 10-day onsite training on cancer registration methods and use of CanReg5 for newly-established cancer registries in Dodoma and Mbeya, in support of the Tanzania National Cancer Registration programme.
  • Fellowship. In July, Dr Mazvita Sengayi-Muchengeti, Senior epidemiologist at the National Cancer Registry of South Africa, received an Africa Oxford (AfOx) Travel Grant to Oxford. The visit allowed her to study under Dr. Max Parkin, cervical cancer survival and risk factors for mortality in African women (2005 – 2014). Mazvita used the available data from the African cancer registration programme for this analysis.
  • Consultancies. Ms Ingabire conducted in 7-18 May, an evaluation of childhood registration situation in Brazzaville, Congo.  Together with local staff, Cecile travelled to six sites to review the case finding methods to improve the completeness and quality of the data collection, met with relevant stakeholders to discuss the childhood cancer registration project. There is interest from the hospital Adolphe Cissé in Noire Pointe yet more training is needed, when funding permits. 
  • Dr Anne Korir, Kenya National Cancer Registry, with support from Bloomberg Foundation/Vital Strategies, met with Dr Sarah Maongezi (Coordinator Adult NCDs, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly & Children) 7-9th May, and conducted a high level consultancy visit to the Ministry of Health of Tanzania to perform a full assessment and provide recommendations on developing a plan for implementation of population-based cancer registration in Tanzania and for establishment of a national cancer registration system. Following the visit above, on 3rd July, a working group met to prepare a national cancer control strategy with Dr Korir, cancer registry directors, Dr Maongezi and stakeholders taking part in discussions. A "Strategic Implementation Plan for National Cancer Registry, Tanzania (2019-2020)" has been prepared.  After consideration, the Ocean Road Cancer Institute has been appointed to be the coordination centre for the national cancer registration programme, on behalf of the MoH of Tanzania.
  • On 15-17th Oct, Dr Parkin met with Dr Francois Uwinkindi, Director of Cancer Diseases Unit, Rwanda Biomedical Center to review the re-initiation of a national cancer registry in Rwanda.
  • A workshop on Childhood Cancer Registration to introduce the idea of a national childhood cancer registration programme and technical aspects of the project was held in Congo by the Brazzaville Cancer Registry on 17-19 May. Over 50 health professionals attended the workshop.
  • Following the successful grant application to the VolkswagenStiftung Foundation in 2017, a scientific workshop with a strong focus on cancers related to infectious diseases, in conjunction with the AFCRN's 6th annual meeting, 8-10th October 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda was organised.  Halle University, Makerere University, Kampala Cancer Registry and AFCRN served as joint hosts of this workshop. 
  • A training course on Data Analysis and Presentation, in collaboration with IARC and funded by the World Bank, was held following the 6th Annual Review Meeting, 11-13th October 2018.  
  • Future plans.  Essential TNM Staging course - on 26-29th November, a 4-day training course on TNM staging for the four major cancers in adult: breast, cervix, prostate and colon-rectum and the use of the coding and staging in childhood cancer will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Approximately 18 international students from 15 SSA countries will attend.

Pacific Islands
  • Plans for the Pacific Islands Hub were endorsed at the Director of Clinical Services and the Heads of Health meetings in April 2018, representing a significant milestone for implementation. 
  • The Pacific Commission (SPC) and the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office Division of Pacific Technical Support (WPRO DPS) have agreed to serve as the Hub for the region to be based in Suva, Fiji. The contribution from both organizations is greatly appreciated and permits the next phase of development. A formal launch is planned in the coming months. 
  • A Hub Advisory Committee is being formed to provide guidance and oversee the governance. Four country representatives selected from each sub region (Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia), together with representatives from the SPC, WPRO DPS, IARC, and selected partners will comprise the Committee. 
  • With support from Cancer Council Australia, a workshop to discuss plans for the Hub was held on 01 October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram, Dr Freddie Bray and Les Mery from IARC, together with Dr Wendy Snowdon (WRPO DPS) and Dr Paula Vivili (SPC), led discussions on moving activities forward. With input from participants spanning nine Pacific Island countries, an action plan was developed. A short communication will be issued to the larger community to apprise them of planned activities and raise awareness.  

Updates from the Cancer Surveillance Section, IARC

International Cancer Survival Benchmarking Projects 


Data quality assessments are underway for the upcoming edition of the IARC SurvCan publication. A total of 90 registries have been asked to participate from 35 countries, covering the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. A new webinar series on Data Quality Assessment for Survival Analysis will be offered mid-December (date to be announced).  Part I will focus on the importance of active follow-up in survival analysis.


IARC launched the website for the SURVPOOL project (, which links more than 20 cohort studies from 18 countries to study how lifetime exposure to modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, affects cancer survival. The project will expand the evaluation of known cancer risk factors beyond considerations of causes of cancer into prognosis after cancer diagnosis.  SURVPOOL is one of three international landmark projects brought together by the International Cancer Survival Benchmarking website: SURVMARK-2, SURVCAN-3, and SURVPOOL, in order to move towards better outcomes for all after a cancer diagnosis.

IARC Research Fellowships  

Ms Luz Stella Garcia, Coordinator, Cali Cancer Registry in Colombia, completed one month internship care of UICC at Cancer Surveillance Section of the IARC-WHO to work on survival estimates in Latin American countries.

Dr Gholamreza Roshandel, IR Iran, is scheduled to serve as a research fellow at IARC from October 2018 - March 2019 and work the Cancer Surveillance Unit on age-period-cohort analyses and projection models.

Recent Publications of the GICR - IARC Team:

Together with the African Cancer Registry Network, the new ‘Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa’ was published. This volume brings together population-based cancer incidence data from 25 cancer registries in 20 sub-Saharan African countries.

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International Association of Cancer Registries · 150 Cours Albert Thomas · IACR CSU · Lyon 69008 · France

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