IACR Newsflash

Prof Charles Gombe Mbalawa

Prof C GM 2016

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Charles Gombe Mbalawa, at the CHU de Brazzaville on 20th April 2021 at the age of 70 years.

Professor Charles was the founder of the Cancer Registry of Brazzaville in 1995, and its Director until his retirement in 2015. IACR closely worked with him when he served in the Editorial Board of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5) Volume X. He several books, including La transformation d'un Hôpital (2012), Esprit de Cancérologue (2019), Particularités Africaines de la Cancérologie (2020).

Many of you will also know of him as a pioneer of oncology in Francophone Africa.  He founded the oncology service at Brazzaville University Hospital and served as its head until he retired.  Among his many roles were Director of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire of Brazzaville (1991-1995) and Rector of the University Marien-Ngouabi University, the first public higher education establishment in the Congo.  

Charles Gombé Mbalawa studied medicine and cancerology in France after obtaining the baccalaureate in 1969. In 2008, he was honored with the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor by France. 

He will be sadly missed by all of us.

With thanks to Biying Liu, AFCRN for the photo of Prof. Charles. 

Un des hommages publiés en français dans l'actualité congolaise:https://lesechos-congobrazza.com/societe/7858-congo-sante-le-professeur-charles-gombe-mbalawa-s-en-est-alle



April Fritz NCRA Educational Virtual Conference Scholarships

NCRA Conf2021


April Fritz Memorial Fund NCRA Annual Educational Virtual Conference Scholarships: An Opportunity to Join NCRA's 2021 Virtual Conference

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) Education Foundation is providing scholarships to the NCRA 2021 Annual Educational Virtual Conference with support from the April Fritz Memorial Fund.

The scholarships are intended for cancer registry staff working in low resource nations specifically and will provide access to the “live” virtual conference to be held June 3-5, 2021 in EST along with “on demand” viewing of all sessions presented through June 30, 2021. 

Applications will be accepted through May 7, 2021. Candidates selected for the scholarships will be notified via email by May 19, 2021.

To apply for a scholarship please complete the scholarship application by May 7th: https://app.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?83A7CBD483C0D3D181

About April Fritz, RHIT, CTR:  April Fritz's name is interwoven throughout the story of cancer surveillance. As an employee in both the public and private sectors and as a volunteer to many nonprofits, April played a pivotal role advancing cancer surveillance and, in turn, improving public health worldwide. April’s passion extended well beyond the U.S. and as an active IACR member, volunteer and educator we feel this scholarship embodies April’s enthusiasm to promote knowledge and education.

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

Prof John L. Young: A Tribute

Dr John L Young 2021With deep sadness, NAACCR and IACR announce the passing of our colleague, IACR Honorary MemberDr. John L Young Jr. on 11 March 2021.

He served as IACR General Secretary in 1983 -1986 and President in 1996 - 1999. 

John is considered to be the “father” of cancer surveillance in North America and instrumental to establishing and advancing the principles of this field worldwide.  While serving in the Public Health Service, he was employed at the National Cancer Institute 50 years ago during the establishment of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. Working with Charles Smart, William Haenzel, Sidney Cutler, and Constance Percy, among others, John defined the rules and standard operating procedures for the SEER Program, and ultimately the nation and the world. He also worked closely with Calum Muir and Max Parkin at the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), serving as President, as an editor of Cancer in Five Continents (Volume VII), and as an advisor to population based registries worldwide. CI5 VII Dr Young 2021

Through this work, the first standardized and aggregated cancer incidence data were published on a national and international scale, leading to the foundation of descriptive cancer epidemiology and the study of regional variation in cancer incidence. He led the SEER Program until retiring from the Public Health Service in the late 1980s when he moved to California to lead the establishment of the Greater California Cancer Registry with others such as Don Austin and Dee West.  During his tenure in California, John played a pivotal role in the establishment of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), and served as its first President.  In the 1990s John joined the faculty of Emory University in Atlanta and served as the Director of the Atlanta SEER registry, and as an advisor to the National Program of Cancer Registries at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More important than all of these significant achievements and contributions to the science of cancer surveillance, John served as a mentor and advisor to us all. Without text books or formal training programs in cancer registration and cancer surveillance John shared his knowledge and opinions freely guiding hundreds of cancer surveillance professionals. His tag line about data quality, “Purification Through Use”, still resonates with us today.  John was cancer surveillance’s equivalent of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Finally, John will be remembered as a man with an enormous heart, generous spirit and witty sense of humor.  John dearly loved his family, friends and colleagues and found many ways to enrich our lives both professionally and privately.  He will be sorely missed and long remembered as friend, a mentor, and for his positive influence on us all.


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.


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