The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership: an international collaboration to inform cancer policy in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Health Policy. 2013 Sep;112(1-2):148-55. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.03.021. Epub 2013 May 18.


The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) was initiated by the Department of Health in England to study international variation in cancer survival, and to inform policy to improve cancer survival. It is a research collaboration between twelve jurisdictions in six countries: Australia (New South Wales, Victoria), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario), Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Wales). Leadership is provided by policymakers, with academics, clinicians and cancer registries forming an international network to conduct the research. The project currently has five modules examining: (1) cancer survival, (2) population awareness and beliefs about cancer, (3) attitudes, behaviours and systems in primary care, (4) delays in diagnosis and treatment, and their causes, and (5) treatment, co-morbidities and other factors. These modules employ a range of methodologies including epidemiological and statistical analyses, surveys and clinical record audit. The first publications have already been used to inform and develop cancer policies in participating countries, and a further series of publications is under way. The module design, governance structure, funding arrangements and management approach to the partnership provide a case study in conducting international comparisons of health systems that are both academically and clinically robust and of immediate relevance to policymakers.

Keywords: Benchmarking; Cancer policy; Cancer survival; International comparisons.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Benchmarking*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Policy Making*
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / epidemiology
  • Survival
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology