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THE POWER OF INFORMATION: MAKING CANCER DATA COUNT

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is leading efforts to transfer the knowledge needed to more effectively fight cancer in previously underserved countries. Generating indicators of the burden that are suitable for use in deciding how and where to invest resources is fundamental. The Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR) has secured the commitment of key international Partners to work together in accomplishing this task through a common purpose.

THE RESPONSE TO IGNITE CHANGE

PARTNERSHIPS

A starting point for the vision involves collective action. Major national and international organizations have come together to offer the first unified approach.

IARC has been entrusted with the overall leadership and coordination of the initiative, acting to set joint global priorities.

See GICR Partners

DIRECTED SUPPORT

To address the lack of high-quality cancer data, countries need increased technical and advocacy assistance. Six Regional Hubs have been established to provide expertise and support to registries in low- and middle-income countries worldwide. This initiative is unlike most others: a key element will be an on-site assessment of the cancer registry needs in target countries in order to determine a specific plan for areas of improvement. In this way, standard training courses are being supplemented with tailored programmes such as technology transfers through fellowships and twinning programmes within a regional network.

The Hub model is a connected system arranged to link country-level needs with regional support mechanisms. Four Hubs are operational:

  • a Regional Hub for South, East, and South-Eastern Asia, in Mumbai, India (based at Tata Memorial Centre)
  • a Regional Network Hub for Sub-Saharan Africa (in collaboration with the African Cancer Registry Network)
  • a Regional Hub for North Africa, Central and West Asia, in Izmir, Turkey (based at the Izmir Cancer Registry)
  • a Regional Network Hub for Latin America, in Buenos Aires (coordinated by the National Cancer Institute, Argentina).
Two more Hubs are being implemented: Regional Hubs supporting countries in the Pacific Islands and in the Caribbean.

Map of IARC Regional Hubs

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

To provide measurable improvements, a focused step-wise method has been selected. Based on past knowledge and existing opportunities, an initial set of starter countries has been selected for each region. These countries have been targeted for investments using regular reviews of key milestones to monitor development. A progressive approach will lead to active work in 20 low- and middle-income countries by 2020 and a further 30 by 2025.