ICBP partnership

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The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership is an innovative global partnership of clinicians, academics, data experts and policymakers. It is the first of its kind aiming to quantify international differences in cancer survival and to identify factors that might influence observed variations.

ICBP researchers use a range of methodologies and approaches to deliver high quality and policy-relevant findings. This work is generating insights and deeper understanding of the changes to policy and practice needed to deliver the best possible outcomes for cancer patients. These findings are relevant for all ICBP partners, and potentially more widely.

The ICBP was established out of a mutual desire among partner countries to deliver world class cancer services in each country. This is to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.

By learning from the experience of others, sharing ideas, comparing outcomes and good practice it is possible to identify and build a strong case for how cancer services can be improved.

The partnership includes 22 jurisdictions across 8 countries and 3 continents, including:

  • Australia: New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • The United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

ICBP partnership jurisdictions map

To participate in the partnership jurisdictions must have:

  • High quality and long-standing population-based cancer registration with good coverage, to ensure that cancer survival results represent the entire population
  • Primary care led and universal access to health care – for which there will be similar policy considerations.
  • Broadly comparable wealth and similar expenditure on healthcare provision
  • A willingness to commit significant time, enthusiasm and funding to participate in an international collaboration.

The research programme focusses on 8 cancers:

ICBP cancer typesCancer of the lung, colon and rectum are common and contribute a large share of the burden of disease in developed countries and for which significant survival differences exist.

Liver, ovarian, pancreas, stomach and oesophageal cancers are less common and involve more complex diagnostic pathways. Mortality is high and large survival differences exist across participating jurisdictions.

Breast cancer represents a significant burden of disease but there have been many advances in the detection and treatment of breast cancer over recent years. Survival is high and broadly similar across all participating jurisdictions. While breast cancer remains of interest, going forward, it will no longer be a specific focus within our research.

The ICBP is a collaborative partnership between policymakers, researchers, clinicians and data experts.

The structure of the partnership is outlined below:

ICBP governance structure

ICBP Chair and Deputy Chair

The partnership is lead by ICBP Chair, Heather Bryant (Vice President for Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer), and Deputy Chair, David Currow (CEO, Cancer Institute NSW).

ICBP Programme Board

The Programme Board is the key decision-making body within the partnership. The Board includes representatives from each participating jurisidiction. Many board members have a clinical or academic background in cancer alongside their current senior administrative roles. The Board meets by teleconference up to 5 times per year to review progress.

Research working groups

Each ICBP research working is led by the Principal Investigator(s), working collaboratively with local leads in each jurisdiction. The Principal Investigator is the senior researcher responsble for the day to day delivery of that research project. Local leads work closely with the central academic team, attending international teleconference calls, providing constructive feedback on ongoing research and findings.

A central academic group and clinical committees provide support, advise and critical review to ensure the research is of the highest standard. Research chairs provide independent oversight, advice and support to the principal investigator.

Clinical committees

ICBP clinical committees provide expert advice at all stages of the research, from methods design to analysing and interpreting the results. Our clinical committee members also act as local champions who help translate findings into impacts. The committees are led by ICBP Clinical Advisor John Butler (Consultant Gynaecological Oncology Surgeon, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust).

Academic Reference Groups (ARGs)

ICBP ARG members provide independent constructive feedback on all phases of the research. Members are selected based on their expertise and provide a friendly challenge to researchers. They work to ensure outputs meet academic standards, as expected for publication in leading journals.

The Programme Management team

Cancer Research UK provides programme management support on behalf of all partners. The programme management team facilitates the delivery of the international research, providing a first-line review of progress and helping to resolve challenges that arise. The team also coordinates communications.

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