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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) have issued new guidelines for establishing cancer registries. The guidelines, available at, provide guidance on the key steps in planning a registry, including accessing sources of information, monitoring the quality of the data, and reporting results.


"Supporting countries in improving the quality of their cancer registry data has always been a high priority for IARC," Freddie Bray, PhD, Deputy Head of the IARC Section of Cancer Information, who coordinated the publication, said in a news release.


"These guidelines show that cancer registration is always possible, even in low-resource settings. With a concerted team effort as well as political commitment, it is possible to successfully develop a population-based cancer registry capable of delivering high-quality data for cancer surveillance and monitoring, and thus support the planning and evaluation of cancer services."


The new guidelines are funded by the GAVI Alliance (a multinational organization dedicated to "saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries) and are part of the ongoing effort of IARC's Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development to support population-based cancer registration in low- and middle-income countries. The strategy is founded on the development of IARC Regional Hubs to provide localized and tailored training, technical assistance, and advocacy to countries in various regions around the world, the news release notes.

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"Registry coverage with high-quality data remains well below 10 percent in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and there is an urgent need to support the initiation, expansion, and development of registries in many low- and middle-income countries," Roberto Zanetti, MD, PhD, President of the International Agency for Cancer Registries, which has member registries throughout the world and is a close partner of IARC.


"This new publication will provide invaluable guidance to all those who are seeking to establish or are in the early stages of developing a registry."