Can global variation of nasopharynx cancer be retrieved from the combined analyses of IARC Cancer Information (CIN) databases?

PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22039. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022039. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Background: The international nasopharynx cancer (NPC) burdens are masked due to the lack of integrated studies that examine epidemiological data based on up-to-date international disease databases such as the Cancer Information (CIN) databases provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Methods: By analyzing the most recently updated NPC epidemiological data available from IARC, we tried to retrieve the worldwide NPC burden and patterns from combined analysis with GLOBOCAN2008 and the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5) databases. We provide age-standardized rates (ASR) for NPC mortality in 20 highest cancer registries from GLOBOCAN2008 and the World Health Organization (WHO) mortality databases, respectively. However, NPC incidence data can not be retrieved since it is not individually listed in CI5 database. The trend of NPC mortality was investigated with Joinpoint analysis in the selected countries/regions with high ASR.

Results: GLOBOCAN 2008 revealed that the highest NPC incidence rates in 2008 were in registries from South-Eastern Asia, Micronesia and Southern Africa with Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore ranking the top 3. WHO mortality database analysis revealed that China Hong Kong, Singapore and Malta ranks the top 3 regions with the highest 5-year mortality rates.

Conclusions: NPC mortality rate is about 2-3 times higher in male than that in female, and shows decrease tendency in those selected countries/regions during the analyzed periods. However, the integrated analyses of the current IARC CIN databases may not be suitable to retrieve epidemiological data of NPC. Much effort is required to improve the local cancer entry and regional death-reporting systems so as to aid similar studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases as Topic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Registries
  • Young Adult