The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership: The importance of international collaboration in addressing areas of cancer control to improve outcomes


Session type:

Harriet Hall1, Mathura Vithyananthan1, Charlotte Lynch1, Ellen Nolte2, Georgios Lyratzopoulos3, Sean McPhail4, Samantha Harrison1
1Cancer Research UK (CRUK), 2London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 3University College London (UCL), 4Public Health England



The current pandemic emphasises how the use of data and its translation into intelligence is vital for understanding and addressing areas of need within healthcare The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) is a unique partnership, unrivalled in its position at quantifying and triangulating international differences in key cancer metrics – incidence, mortality, survival and stage at diagnosis  as well crucially exploring factors that might influence observed variations.  We now highlight emerging data exploring differences in health system structures and cancer patient pathways, with commentary on how findings might explain cancer outcome differences.  The session will also consolidate research and impacts across 12 years of work and highlight successes and challenges in influencing cancer policy and practice.  


The ICBP employ a range of methods, including novel data linkage and analysis exploring patient pathways, key informant interviews with cancer control stakeholders, and outcome analysis by International Agency for Research on Cancer. Policy impacts are derived from semi-structured interviews with 17 Programme Board members from Australia (New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia), Canada (National, Ontario), Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom (Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales).  


International variation is seen in health system structures as well as configuration and movement through cancer patient pathways. We will report on emerging, unpublished findings from novel cancer data linkage work, and in-depth qualitative work with cancer policymakers. Impacts will be crystallised and presented, with line of sight on what outcomes may have been improved as a result.  


International differences in cancer outcomes persist, but our understanding of drivers of variation is growing. Narrowing cancer differences internationally require a multi-pronged, multi-disciplined approach. Findings from the ICBP provide evidence and data on areas of need as well as recommendations for cancer control progress.   

Impact statement

Underpinned by insights triangulated from incidence and mortality, survival and stage data derived from across 21 population-based cancer registries across 7 countries, we show how ICBP research has and will continue to inform international efforts to improve cancer outcomes.