The core function of the Screening Group (SCR) at IARC is to provide data on the accuracy, reproducibility, efficacy, benefits, harmful effects, and cost-effectiveness of various early detection interventions for breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancers, among others, in reducing deaths and improving patients’ quality of life in various settings. These data can then be used to inform and improve the rational use of health-care resources. The Group’s ultimate objective is to guide the development of public health policies for implementing screening in a variety of health-care settings, in particular in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

SCR conducts field studies in LMICs to evaluate various early detection methods for breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancer control. These initiatives also address the means by which screening services could be scaled up through local public health services. SCR develops various training resources to catalyse and augment capacity building in close collaboration with national institutions and government health services. Through its research programme, SCR generates scientific evidence to support the development of resource-appropriate early detection policies and health systems for the delivery of effective early services. The Cancer Screening in 5 Continents (CanScreen5) project of the Group aims to collect information on characteristics and performance of cancer screening programmes around the world and disseminate such information for informed decision making in cancer screening programmes. For example, the Group significantly contributed also to the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of less than three doses of the HPV vaccine in protecting against cervical cancer.

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EMERGENCY: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Regular updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are available at the WHO website.

New publication: Patterns of care of breast cancer patients in Morocco – A study of variations in patient profile, tumour characteristics and standard of care over a decade

A new article by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and clinicians from Morocco describes the pattern of care of breast cancer patients within the two main oncology centres in Morocco. This retrospective study included more than 2000 patients treated between 2008 and 2017. The article reports that the standard of breast cancer treatment and survival outcome at the oncology centre in Rabat were comparable to that observed in many high-resourced countries. However, the disparity between the two oncology centres also revealed inequality that exists within the country. View the article

New publication: WHO guideline for screening and treatment of cervical pre-cancer lesions for cervical cancer prevention, second edition

This new WHO guideline, launched today, is designed to help countries make faster progress, more equitably, on the screening and treatment of cervical pre-cancer lesions for cervical cancer. It includes some important shifts in WHO’s recommended approaches to cervical screening, and includes a total of 23 recommendations and 7 good practice statements.
View the publication

Webinar: Reaching 2030 cervical cancer elimination targets - New WHO recommendations for screening and treatment of cervical pre-cancer

To launch updated guidance, WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will host a webinar to detail new recommendations on screening and treatment for cervical pre-cancer, best practices and implications for national programmes. The guidelines include recommendations for the general population as well as for women living with HIV/AIDS. Webinar sessions will be 06/07/2021 at 9h00 to 10h30 CET (Geneva time) or 14h30 to 16h00 CET (Geneva time). View more details about this event on the WHO page

New publication: The use of thermal ablation in diverse cervical cancer 'screen-and-treat' service platforms in Zambia

In this publication, the authors reported the feasibility, acceptability, safety and provider uptake of thermal ablation in diverse Zambian clinical contexts. Between 2012 to 2020, 2,123 women were treated by thermal ablation in primary healthcare clinics, mobile outreach clinics and research clinics. It was the preferred ablative method of providers when compared to cryotherapy and feasible, safe, and acceptable.
View the article

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Scientific papers

Subramanian S., Jose R., Lal A., Augustine P., Jones M., Gopal B.K., Swayamvaran S.K., Saroji V., Samadarsi R., Sankaranarayanan R. Acceptability, utility, and cost of an mHealth cancer screening education application for training primary care physicians in India. Oncologist. 2021 Jul 19.
PMID: 34286909
Mrabti H., Sauvaget C., Benider A., Bendahhou K., Selmouni F., Muwonge R., Alaoui L., Lucas E., Chami Y., Villain P., Abousselham L., Carvalho A.L., Bennani M., Errihani H., Sankaranarayanan R., Bekkali R., Basu P. Patterns of care of breast cancer patients in Morocco - A study of variations in patient profile, tumour characteristics and standard of care over a decade. Breast. 2021 Jul 12;59:193-202.
PMID: 34280610
Thankappan K., Subramanian S., Balasubramanian D., Kuriakose M.A., Sankaranarayanan R., Iyer S. Cost-effectiveness of oral cancer screening approaches by visual examination: A systematic review. Head Neck. 2021 Jul 14.
PMID: 34260118

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