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Population-based estimates of cancer survival (alongside incidence and mortality) provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of early-detection strategies and the quality of clinical care and management.

Previous studies have documented persisting differences in cancer survival across countries. Differences in health systems, such as differences in early-detection and treatment practices, as well as differences in patients and in doctors′ practices may contribute to international differences in survival. Differences in classification, coding, and registration practices may also explain part of the observed variation.

In the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project, a multidisciplinary approach will be used to address these challenges and provide a comprehensive view of the most up-to-date cancer survival statistics tailored to each stakeholder, accompanied by tools to facilitate future benchmarking studies.
The ICBP SURVMARK-2 will include data from 21 jurisdictions in 7 high-income countries:
Source: ICBP at Cancer Research UK

ICBP SURVMARK-2 will provide survival estimates for eight cancer sites across seven high-income countries with similar access to health care:









The KEY OBJECTIVES of the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project are:

  1. The provision and elucidation of up-to-date measures of cancer survival, incidence, and mortality;
  2. A systematic approach to understanding how registry processes, clinical practice, and variations in stage at diagnosis impact short- and long-term survival;
  3. A comprehensive assessment of progress and gaps over the period of 1995–2014.


Standard survival measures (i.e. 1- to 15-year relative survival rates, using the period approach) will be estimated by stage, sex, age, and primary morphologies/subtype, where applicable, alongside indicators providing insight into the lives of cancer patients beyond their initial diagnosis (conditional survival).

Along with trends in incidence, mortality, and 1- and 5-year survival rates (1995–2014), progress in therapy and palliative care will be examined using measures of the proportion cured and the median survival time of the patients who died in each jurisdiction.

In-depth sample studies will be performed to investigate the methods of obtaining the coded information on topography (for stomach cancers), morphology (for lung cancers), and stage (for colon and ovarian cancers).

In a simulation study, various methods will be explored to quantify the impact of registration on international survival comparisons through adjustments to the key survival measures.


For any comments or queries about the SURVMARK project and website, please contact the IARC SURVMARK team at