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Background

Background

There are important international differences in cancer survival (Richards M. EUROCARE-4 studies bring new data on cancer survival. Lancet Oncology 2007, 8: 752-753) and the explanation for these is not known. The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) was formed to explore our understanding of these differences. The ICBP is a unique and innovative international partnership of clinicians, academics and policymakers, the first of its kind, seeking to determine how cancer survival varies between jurisdictions and to explore reasons that could explain any differences. It has the following key objectives:

  • Identifying specific causes of performance differences between countries with high quality cancer data
  • Generating insights to improve cancer survival outcomes
  • Laying the foundation for an ongoing benchmarking partnership to enable the countries to track the relative successes of their reform programmes and share good practice

The scope of the work covers primary cancers and focuses on four cancer sites: breast, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancer. Breast, colorectal and lung cancer were chosen as common cancers that contribute a large share of the burden of cancer disease in developed countries. Significant international differences in survival have been reported for these cancers.

This is a truly international partnership which involves 12 jurisdictions in 6 countries in 3 continents:

  • Australia (New South Wales and Victoria)
  • Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario)
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Wales)

The ICBP covers five areas of research (modules). Each module looks at different aspects of cancer survival to study possible reasons for differences between partners.

  • Module 1: Epidemiology 
  • Module 2: Population awareness and beliefs about cancer
  • Module 3: Beliefs, behaviours and systems in primary care
  • Module 4: Root cause of diagnosis and treatment delays 
  • Module 5: Treatment, co-morbidities and other factors