IACR Newsflash

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population-based cancer registries

Results of the COVID-19 and Cancer Registries Survey now published in the International Journal of Cancer (Open Access)

In May 2020, we sent out a survey on the impact of the pandemic to IACR registry mailing list:  about 750 cancer registries in 160 countries. They survey comprised 33 questions and was administered online using Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap). There were 230 registries that participated by sending in their response.

The full report and results of the survey is in the virtual issue of the International Journal of Cancer for World Cancer Day 2022 [Link to Article

The report concludes that the impact of COVID-19 on cancer surveillance systems such as cancer registries revealed disparities evident in low-income settings. Strategic preparedness plans suggested were:  long-term governmental support for registries' infrastructure, expansion to electronic medical record reporting, an increase in passive data collection. These actions may limit the impact of the pandemic on current and future cancer patients and assure the sustainability of cancer registries.

The authors again acknowledge the collaboration with of the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) and the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry development (GICR) for this investigation and thank all registries for their contribution.

Haematological Malignancies in Belgium, 2004-2018

Our colleagues at the Belgian Cancer Registry (BCR) are pleased to share their new E-book publication, Haematological Malignancies - Belgium 2004-2018.

This publication is the result of close collaboration between the BCR and the Belgian Hematology Society (BHS) and of a partnership with the Belgian Society of Paediatric Haematology Oncology (BSPHO).

This e-book describes the epidemiological situation of haematological malignancies in Belgium for 15 consecutive years of incidence data. In addition to results on incidence, prevalence, 5-year survival and trends as presented in the last publication on haematological malignancies in 2015, this new publication will also include incidence projections until 2025 and 10-year relative survival for the main haematological subtypes.

The E-book can be downloaded through this link: 

The e-book is available through the link here: HM 20014-2018 E-Book 

or through the BCR's Publications page. 


IACR congratulates our colleagues at the Belgian Cancer Registry and the clinical societies they worked with to produce this impressive report.




Cancer registry news on Twitter

For those on Twitter:  follow GICR @ IARC for the latest on cancer registration, cancer data and cancer control activities and updates around the world.

For our cancer registry members and colleagues: contact us if you would like us to share your publications, research and activities on this website, our mailing list and on twitter.


Updates on ICD-O 3.2 and ICD-O 4

ICD-O-4 (Update as of January 25, 2021)

With the new 5th edition of the Blue Books commencing (it will be completed by mid-2023), it is now the time for the IARC WHO Classification of Tumours Group to start creating new codes. Due to the lack of available codes for new morphological diagnoses in the current 4-digit morphology structure, it is proposed for the next ICD-O edition (ICD-O-4) that a 5th digit will be added.

This approach, with the addition of a “0” where there is no need for a more specific code, or other values if needed was chosen for the ease of conversion and consistency with ICD-O-3 (similar to a MOTNAC to ICD-O-1 conversion). Adding an additional digit to the existing four retains the needed consistency, including the possibility to collapse to previous versions, but will likely require minor changes in registry software, notification forms, etc.

As the previous IACR ICD-O Working Group has now concluded its work with ICD-O-3.2, IACR will establish a new WG with global representation, with a terms of reference that focuses on the required planning for the implementation of ICD-O-4 in cancer registries worldwide.


ICD-O-3.2 (Update as of January 25, 2021):


The preparation of ICD-O-3.2 book (pdf) is at its final stages at the WHO Press, and we hope to have it in the first half of 2021. In the meantime, please refer to the tables available in this page.

Please read through our page on the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O) for details and updates of ICD-O-3.2 and the work that will start for ICD-O-4:

Support for Registries / ICD-O

Dr Risto Sankila (1958 – 2019)

Dr Risto Sankila was a former Director of the Finnish Cancer Registry, and led the organization of the IACR 2002 scientific conference in Helsinki (June 2002). He also served as Professor at the Tampere University until 2008. 

As Dr Sankila mastered the subject of survival analysis, he went to IARC in Lyon and substantially contributed to the work of the European Network of Cancer Registries. He served as editor of the IARC Technical Publications No. 37: Evaluation of Clinical Care by Cancer Registries (2003).

Read the full tribute by Dr Roberto Zanetti and Jan Willem Coebergh here: https://www.fondoelenamoroni.org/category/notizie/

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