ICBP Publications

The ICBP funds and produces high impact, peer reviewed publications. All published papers relating to the partnership are listed on this page, alongside a summary of the paper and a link to the original journal article.

We have to date published papers showing international cancer survival variation, differences in awareness and beliefs about cancer and the role of primary care in cancer diagnosis.

The ICBP encourages other researchers to maximise data collected by the ICBP to further unpick factors that may be causing this observed survival variation. If you would like to know more about what data is available, please contact the ICBP Programme Management team (icbp@cancer.org.uk).

 

Module 1: Benchmarking Publications

Publication title  Journal Published

Lead Author

Summary

Cancer survival in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, 1995–2007 (the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership): an analysis of population-based cancer registry data

Lancet Oncol Jan 2011 Michel P Coleman Data from population-based cancer registries was used to estimate 1-year and 5-year cancer survival for breast, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer patients diagnosed between 1995 and 2007. Relative survival improved in all studied ICBP jurisdictions during this time, but survival outcomes varied.

Progress in cancer survival, mortality, and incidence in seven high-income countries 1995–2014 (ICBP SURVMARK-2): a population-based study

Lancet Oncol Nov 2019 Melina Arnold This is the flagship study of ICBP Phase 2 research, providing a comprehensive overview of cancer survival across ICBP countries and a comparative assessment of the corresponding incidence and mortality trends.

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Module 1: SURVMARK-2 Publications

Publication title  Journal Published Lead author Summary

Changes in colorectal cancer incidence in seven high-income countries: a population-based study

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol

May 2019

Marzieh Araghi

Shows that in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer in adults younger than 50 years has increased substantially over the latest available 10-year period in several high-income countries, going against a decline or stabilisation trend in the incidence of colorectal cancers within the overall populations of high-income countries.

Colon and rectal cancer survival in seven high-income countries 2010–2014: variation by age and stage at diagnosis (the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project)

Gut

Jun 2021

Marzieh Araghi

Examines colon and rectal cancer survival by age and stage at diagnosis across the ICBP countries, to dissect the potential role of early detection and treatment in survival differences.

Age disparities in stage-specific colon cancer survival across seven countries: An International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership SURVMARK-2 population-based study

IJC

Apr 2021

Sophie Pilleron

Examines the role of stage at diagnosis in the observed age disparities in colon cancer survival across the ICBP countries (for people aged 50-99 years).

Exploring variations in ovarian cancer survival by age and stage (ICBP SurvMark-2): A population-based study

Gyecol Oncol

Jan 2020

Citadel J Cabasag

Explores ovarian cancer survival differences by age and stage at diagnosis across the ICBP countries.

International trends in oesophageal cancer survival by histological subtype between 1995 and 2014

Gut

Jun 2017

Eileen Morgan

Reports trends in oesophageal cancer incidence and survival for the two main histological subtypes (adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). It investigates sub-type specific survival differences by period of diagnosis, country, age group and sex.

Ovarian cancer in Manitoba: trends in incidence and survival, 1992-2011

Current Oncology

Apr 2017

Paul Lambert

Explores trends in ovarian cancer incidence and survival in Manitoba

Comparison of liver cancer incidence and survival by subtypes across seven high-income countries

Int J Cancer

Dec 2021

Mark Rutherford

Reports trends in liver cancer subtypes survival and incidence across the ICBP countries and to understand variations in coding practises

International trends in oesophageal cancer survival by histological subtype between 1995 and 2014

Gut

Feb 2021

Eileen Morgan

Provide an overview of oesophageal cancer survival by histological subtype across the ICBP countries

International variation in oesophageal and gastric cancer survival 2012-2014: differences by histological subtype and stage at diagnosis (an ICBP SURVMARK-2 population-based study)

Gut

Nov 2021

Melina Arnold

Provides international comparisons of oseophageal and gastric cancer survival by stage at diagnosis and histological subtype across the ICBP countries

The impact of reclassifying cancers of unspecified histology on international differences in survival for small cell and non-small cell lung cancer (ICBP SurvMark-2 project)

Int J Cancer

Sep 2021

Eileen Morgan

Explores how variations in small-cell and non-small cell lung cancer may influence international differences in survival across the ICBP countries

International differences in lung cancer survival by sex, histological type and stage at diagnosis: an ICBP SURVMARK-2 Study

Thorax

Apr 2022

Marzieh Araghi

Reports on international trends in lung cancer incidence and survival for the two main histological subtypes (non-small cell and small cell). It investigates sub-type specific survival differences by country, age group and sex.

Population-based cancer staging for oesophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer 2012-2014: International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership SurvMark-2

Int J Cancer

Sep 2021

Citadel J Cabasag

Present the development of an internationally validated TMN to SEER staging algorithm for oesophageal, gastric and pancreatic cancers.

CanStaging+: an electronic staging tool for population-based cancer registries

Lancet Oncol

Aug 2021

Isabelle Soerjomataram

Describe the first internationally validated, open-source Cancer staging tool. Based on International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership data, CanStaging+ addresses unmet needs in staging accuracy, completeness and comparability. The tool can be visited at https://canstaging.org/tool

Pancreatic cancer survival by stage and age in seven high-income countries (ICBP SURVMARK-2): a population-based study

Br J Cancer

March 2022

Citadel J Cabasag

Compares the stage distribution of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2012-2014 , the role of stage at diagnosis in international cancer survival differences can be explored.

Five ways to improve international comparisons of cancer survival: lessons learned from ICBP SURVMARK-2

Br J Cancer

May 2022

Therese M.-L. Andersson

Outlines five recommendations based on experiences in the ICBP to improve the completeness and accuracy of cancer registry data including using multiple sources, inputting more patient details, and having more stringent tracking of death information 

Stage at diagnosis and ovarian cancer survival: evidence from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership

 

Gynecol Oncol

Oct 2012

Camille Maringe

Reports international differences in stage at diagnosis and considers the impact on breast cancer survival between Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the UK

Breast cancer survival and stage at diagnosis in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK, 2000-2007: a population-based study

 

BJC

Mar 2013

Sarah Walters

Reports international differences in stage at diagnosis and considers the impact on breast cancer survival between Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Stage at diagnosis and colorectal cancer survival in six high-income countries: A population-based study of patients diagnosed during 2000–2007

Acta Oncol

Apr 2013

Camille Maringe

Examines lung cancer survival by stage at diagnosis across the ICBP countries

 

Lung cancer survival and stage at diagnosis in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK: a population-based study, 2004–2007

Thorax

Jun 2013

Sarah Walters

Reports international differences in stage at diagnosis and considers the impact on lung cancer survival between Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

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Module 2: Awareness, Attitudes and Beliefs

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead Author

Summary

Recognition of cancer warning signs and anticipated delay in help-seeking in a population sample of adults in the UK

British Journal of Cancer

Oct 2013

Samantha L Quaife

Many cancer patients report not going to a doctor because they did not realise a symptom was 'suspicious'. The authors examined how long members of the population would report waiting to visit a doctor if they had specific symptoms, and if they were associated with low awareness of these symptoms as indicative of cancer.

Differences in cancer awareness and beliefs between Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK (the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership): do they contribute to differences in cancer survival?

Br J Cancer

Dec 2014

L J L Forbes

Shows that across participating jurisdictions, awareness and beliefs are similar, but people report different reasons for not going to their doctor with worrying symptoms.

An international measure of awareness and beliefs about cancer: development and testing of the ABC

BMJ Open

Dec 2018

Alice E Simon

Explores whether international variation in cancer survival could be explained by different beliefs and awareness about cancer in the general population, a telephone survey was carried out in people over 50 years of age.

Ovarian cancer symptom awareness and anticipated delayed presentation in a population sample

BMC Cancer

Mar 2014

Kate E Brain

Explores awareness and recognition of symptoms of ovarian cancer in the general population. Lower awareness of these symptoms was reported when the symptoms related to eating difficulties and changes in bladder or bowel habits.

Self-reported participation and beliefs about bowel cancer screening in New South Wales, Australia

Health Prom J Australia

Jul 2014

Megan Varlow

Reports on the responses of the ABC survey from around 2,000 participants in New South Wales. The authors report misunderstanding about the use of screening tests for bowel cancer, with many respondents incorrectly believing screening should only occur when experiencing symptoms.

Cancer awareness and socio-economic position: results from a population-based study in Denmark

BMC Cancer

Aug 2014

Line Hvidberg

Reports the ABC survey responses from around 3,000 members of the Danish general population and shows a strong socioeconomic gradient in cancer awareness, suggesting targeting and tailoring of public health messages to this group.

Barriers to healthcare seeking, beliefs about cancer and the role of socio-economic position. A Danish population-based study

Preventive Medicine

Dec 2014

Line Hvidberg

Reports that respondents in Denmark were most likely to report ‘worry about what the doctor might find’ and ‘worry about wasting the doctor’s time’ as reasons for not going to see their doctor. Shows that a lower socioeconomic background was associated with negative cancer beliefs.

Socioeconomic inequalities in attitudes towards cancer: an International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership study

European J Cancer Prev

Mar 2015

Samantha L Quaife

Compares socioeconomic differences in positive and negative attitudes towards cancer in respondents from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports strong agreement across all respondents towards the positively framed statements in the survey, but differences across socioeconomic groups in the negatively framed statements.

Smoking is associated with pessimistic and avoidant beliefs about cancer: results from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership

British Journal of Cancer

May 2015

Samantha L Quaife

Reports on 7,000 surveys collected from UK nations (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and shows that smokers held more pessimistic beliefs about cancer. Indicates that people who smoke may be less likely to go to their doctor when they have symptoms.

Awareness of sunburn in childhood, use of sunbeds and change of moles in Denmark, Northern Ireland, Norway and Sweden

European J Public Health

Jun 2015

Senada Hajdarevic

Explores the awareness of risk factors and symptoms of malignant melanoma in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Northern Ireland. Report low awareness of ‘sunburn in childhood’ as a risk factor and differences across jurisdictions in awareness.

Awareness of risk factors for cancer: a comparative study of Sweden and Denmark

BMC Public Health

Nov 2015

Magdalena Lagerlund

Reports that cancer outcomes in Denmark and Sweden to be different in the original ICBP cancer survival benchmark, yet the neighbouring countries have similar healthcare systems, economies and culture. Supports previous findings of modest public awareness to many established cancer risk factors.

Awareness of cancer symptoms and anticipated patient interval for healthcare seeking. A comparative study of Denmark and Sweden

Acta Oncologica

Feb 2016

Line Hvidberg

Reports differences in cancer survival outcomes between Sweden and Denmark, with Sweden having higher survival for breast, colorectal and lung cancers. Shows a higher symptom awareness and shorter anticipated delay in Denmark, which does not explain survival differences between jurisdiction

Measurement properties of the Danish version of the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer (ABC) measure

BMC Med Res Methodology

Apr 2017

Line Hvidberg

Reports the validity testing exercises and analyses carried out to confirm the Danish ABC is accepted and understood by the target Danish (general) population.

Cancer beliefs in cancer survivors, cancer relatives and persons with no cancer experience

Scandinavian J Public Health

Jul 2017

Anette Pedersen

Compares responses from the general population in Denmark who participated in the original study, to whether they, or someone close, had been diagnosed with cancer, or not at all. Suggests that cancer beliefs are impacted by a person’s experience of cancer and negative beliefs should be addressed and reframed within populations.

Influences on anticipated time to ovarian cancer symptom presentation in women at increased risk compared to population risk of ovarian cancer

BMC Cancer

Oct 2017

Stephanie Smits

Examines the factors influencing women’s anticipated time to presentation when presenting potential ovarian cancer symptoms

Negative cancer beliefs, recognition of cancer symptoms and anticipated time to help-seeking: an international cancer benchmarking partnership (ICBP) study

BMC Cancer

Apr 2018

Anette Pedersen

Examines relationship between negative cancer beliefs, recognition of cancer symptoms, and anticipated patient intervals

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Module 3: The Role of Primary Care Provider

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead Author

Summary

Family physician access to and wait times for cancer diagnostic investigations

Canadian Family Physician

Oct 2016

Adriana Barisic

Examines provincial and regional differences in Family Physicians’ direct access to cancer diagnostic investigations to explore perceptions about wait times

International variation in adherence to referral guidelines for suspected cancer: a secondary analysis of survey data

British J General Practice

Jan 2016

Brian D Nicholson

Compares responses from primary care physicians in Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia (Canada), looking at differences in access to diagnostic tests and wait times for results across provinces.

How might healthcare systems influence speed of cancer diagnosis: A narrative review

 

Soc Sci Med

Sept 2014

Sally Brown

Compares several characteristics of the participating jurisdictions. Reports many similarities but also differences in centralisation, patient movement, access to secondary care and list systems.

Development of a survey instrument to investigate the primary care factors related to differences in cancer diagnosis between international jurisdictions

 

BMC Family Practice

June 2014

Peter Rose

Presents a survey developed to explore differences in the readiness of primary care physicians (PCPs) to investigate for cancer. The survey asks a set of direct questions about the health system the PCP operates in, as well as five clinical scenarios asking how they would manage the patient.

Investigations and referral for suspected cancer in primary care in New Zealand – A survey linked to the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership

European J of Cancer

Jan 2017

Han Win Htun

The core survey was also carried out by primary care practitioners in New Zealand, to understand the context in which these doctors work, their access to tests, and how they would respond to patients presenting with symptoms.

Explaining variation in cancer survival between 11 jurisdictions in the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership: a primary care vignette survey

BMJ Open

May 2015

Peter Rose

Reports on the survey results of 2,800 primary care physicians (PCPs) to understand how they would manage patients presenting with symptoms (if they would investigate or refer). These responses were then compared to 1- and 5-year survival across jurisdictions and studied ICBP cancer type.

Unconditional and conditional incentives differentially improved general practitioners' participation in an online survey: randomized controlled trial

J Clin Epidemiol

June 2015

Jane M Young

Analyses the impact of different incentives on the response rate to the primary care vignette survey by by primary care physicians in New South Wales, Australia, different incentives were given in order to increase the response rate.

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Module 4: Measuring time interval and pathways from symptoms to diagnosis and treatment

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead Author

Summary

An investigation of routes to cancer diagnosis in 10 international jurisdictions, as part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership: survey development and implementation

BMJ Open

Jul 2016

David Weller

Compares results from an internationally validated survey looking at how patients move through their cancer journey by international. Surveys were sent to recently diagnosed breast, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer patients and their doctors.

Patient perspectives on delays in diagnosis and treatment of cancer: a qualitative analysis of free-text data

British J  General Practice

Nov 2016

Rachel Parsonage

Explores patients’ cancer journey included free text question by asking patients to describe their experience of being diagnosed with cancer within the Wales health system.

Time intervals and routes to diagnosis for lung cancer in 10 jurisdictions: cross-sectional study findings from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP)

 

BMJ Open

Nov 2019

Usha Menon

Compares lung cancer patient characteristics and routes to diagnosis via survey of cancer patients, their primary care practitioners and cancer treatment specialists

 

Diagnostic routes and time intervals for ovarian cancer in nine international jurisdictions; findings from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP)

 

Br J Cancer

May 2022

Usha Menon

Compares ovarian cancer patient characteristics and routes to diagnosis via survey of cancer patients, their primary care practitioners and cancer treatment specialists

Diagnostic routes and time intervals for patients with colorectal cancer in 10 international jurisdictions; findings from a cross-sectional study from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP)

 

BMJ Open

Nov 2019

David Weller

Compares colorectal cancer patient characteristics and routes to diagnosis via survey of cancer patients, their primary care practitioners and cancer treatment specialists

 

Rural-urban disparities in time to diagnosis and treatment for colorectal and breast cancer

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

July 2018

Rebecca J Bergin

Investigates time to diagnosis and treatment for rural and urban patients with colorectal or breast cancer in Victoria, Australia

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Module 5: Impact of Differences in Cancer Registry Processes

Publication title Journal Published

Lead Author

Summary

Impact of variation in cancer registration practice on observed international cancer survival differences between International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) jurisdictions

 

Cancer Epidemiol

Feb 2019

Micheal Eden

Reports on key informant perspectives of differences in registration practice for capturing incidence date, death certificate case handling and registration of multiple primary tumours.

Can different definitions of date of cancer incidence explain observed international variation in cancer survival? An ICBP SURVMARK-2 study

 

Cancer Epidemiol

Aug 2020

Tor ÅgeMyklebust

Investigates the impact of including or excluding death certificate-initiated cancer cases (DCI); the role of cancer registry completeness in cancer survival estimates; and the impact of using different definitions of date of cancer incidence.

The impact of excluding or including Death Certificate Initiated (DCI) cases on estimated cancer survival: A simulation study

 

Cancer Epidemiol

Apr 2021

Therese M.-L. Andersson

Estimates the impact of including Death Certificate Initiated (DCI) cases on estimated cancer survival

Exploring the impact of cancer registry completeness on international cancer survival differences: a simulation study

 

 BJC

Dec 2020

Therese M.-L. Andersson

Explores whether differences in cancer registry practices between the ICBP countries play a role in the observed international variation in cancer survival.

Investigation of the international comparability of population-based routine hospital data set derived comorbidity scores for patients with lung cancer

Thorax

Apr 2018

Margreet Lüchtenborg

Investigates whether patients who die shortly after a cancer diagnosis may be more likely to be living with one or more health conditions (comorbidities) which could affect their chances of surviving. This is the first study to try to make international comparisons of commonly used measures of comorbidity derived from routine, population-based administrative health datasets for lung cancer patients.

A way to explore the existence of "immortals" in cancer registry data - An illustration using data from ICBP SURVMARK-2

 

Cancer Epidemiol

Feb 2022

Therese M-L. Andersson

Outlines a methodology to explore the presence of ‘immortals’ - wrongly assumed long-term survivors on the cancer registry database , whose deaths have been missed - that can be utilised by cancer registries for a preliminary check to detect whether a significant proportion of missed deaths (e.g. failure of matching and/or tracking) 

Comparability of stage data in cancer registries in six countries: Lessons from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership

 

IJC

May 2012

Sarah Walters

Describes how stage data may be reconciled to optimise comparability in population-based international comparisons of stage-specific cancer outcomes

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Module 6: Access to Treatments

Publication title Journal Published Lead author Summary

Exploring international differences in ovarian cancer treatment: a comparison of clinical practice guidelines and patterns of care

Int J Gynecol Cancer

Nov 202

Charles H Norell

Compares clinical practice guidelines, and an exploration of patterns of care relating to the treatment of ovarian cancer patient in order to provide further understanding of what may be driving the international differences seen in survival, particularly in women aged 65-74 years

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Module 7: Access to Diagnoses

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead author

Summary

A comparative analysis: international variation in PET-CT service provision in oncology—an International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership study 

Int J Qual Health Care

Nov 2020

Charlotte Lynch

Explores differences in the provision of PET-CT services across ICBP countries, to gain an insight into the variation of a key diagnostic and staging tool.

Variation in suspected cancer referral pathways across the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership: a comparative analysis

BJGP

June 2022

Charlotte Lynch

Identifies several key areas of high-level variation across international referral pathways to facilitate understanding of potential best practises

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Module 8: Cancer Health System

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead author

Summary

“There’s Not Enough Bodies to Do the Demand:” An Exploration of Key Stakeholder Views on the Role of Health Service Capacity in Shaping Cancer Outcomes in 7 International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership Countries

 

Int J Qual Health Care

Dec 2020

Maureen Seguin

Explored key stakeholder perceptions of the role of health system capacity necessary for cancer care, that may be influencing cancer survival across the ICBP countries.

Understanding the link between health systems and cancer survival: A novel methodological approach using a system-level conceptual model

 

J Cancer Policy

Sep 2020

Melanie Morris

Presents a conceptual logic model to highlight the complex interactions of health system factors along the cancer patient pathway. This can be used as a tool for health systems to identify where to focus efforts and system improvements.

Exploring the Role of Leadership in Facilitating Change to Improve Cancer Survival: An Analysis of Experiences in Seven High Income Countries in the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP)

 

Int J Qual Health Care

Aug 2020

Melanie Morris

Explores how international caner survival might be influenced by the role of leadership in systems providing cancer care

Exploring the link between cancer policies and cancer survival: a comparison of International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership countries

Policy Overview Sept 2022 Ellen Nolte This is the first study to systematically compare the evolution (1995-2014) of cancer policies across high-income countries to develop an index of cancer policy consistency over time. This index was linked to previous ICBP survival data from the same period for relatively common cancers (lung, colon, rectum) and those that are hard to treat (ovarian, pancreas, stomach, and oesophagus) 

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Cancer Patient Pathways

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead author

Summary

Risk factors and prognostic implications of diagnosis of cancer within 30 days after an emergency hospital admission (emergency presentation): an International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) population-based study

Lancet Oncol

May 2020

Sean McPhail

Compares emergency presentations internationally using linked cancer registry and hospital admission data and shows that international variation in the proportion of emergency presentations is a possible contributor to international variation in colon, stomach, liver, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer survivals. Comparisons between jurisdictions are limited to those within the same definition bracket.

Please follow this link to hear from Georgios Lyratzopoulos, lead co-author, at a Lancet Oncology podcast.

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Module 1: New Approaches to Cancer Care in a COVID World

Publication title

Journal

Published

Lead author

Summary

New approaches to cancer care in a COVID-19 world

Lancet Oncol

Jul 2020

John Butler

Present key recommendations developed alongside cancer surgeons for cancer surgery, specifically, to reduce the impacts of COVID-19.

Do perceived barriers to clinical presentation affect anticipated time to presenting with cancer symptoms: An ICBP Study

European J of Public Health

Jun 2017

Conan Donnelly

Compares the relationship between reported barriers to attending primary care and anticipated help seeking (how long respondents said they would wait before going to visit their doctor) for ICBP cancer types. Respondents associate barriers to a longer wait to visit their doctor, meaning more work should be done to understand why people put off going to their doctor.

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