The collection of stating data at population-level is currently undertaken by population-based cancer registries (PBCR). There is a large variation of data collected making it difficult to benchmark and to develop global strategies.
Dr Anna Gavin from the Northern Ireland Cancer registry Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast who led the work, said: “Cancer staging is crucial to monitor and evaluate outcomes and cancer control activities. Almost half of registries in Latin America and the Caribbean (52%) report staging information compared to 96% of registries in North America and Europe. A lack of data and inconsistency is a huge problem in high-income countries too where there were 6-37% of missing staging data for colorectal cancer across cross seven countries within the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership between 2010 and 2014.
“We urgently need a global solution to increase the amount of and consistency of staging internationally. I am delighted that this tool will take us much closer to bridging these gaps enabling a global, reliable approach.”
To mark the launch of the CanStaging+ tool, an accompanying article has been published inThe Lancet Oncology.
Isabelle Soerjomataram, Deputy Head of the Cancer Surveillance Branch at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, added: “The tool responds to the urgent global need to improve the collection of comparable and complete cancer staging data at the population level. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of health-care systems to deliver services across the cancer continuum.
“It is of vital importance to resume cancer control activities, including early diagnosis, population-based cancer screening, timely treatment, continuous monitoring, and reporting of cancer staging.”
An earlier version of the tool launched in 2005 attracted users from 55 countries. CanStaging+ is expected to attract users from more countries as it can be downloaded for use offline. The updated version includes essential information that will support developing countries to measure disease stage from limited available information, more cancer sites and guidelines on data collection to enable better estimations of reasons for international differences in survival.
The tool is available to cancer registries around the world free of charge with training.
CanStaging⁺ has been partly funded by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP).