Evidence before this study
We searched PubMed, without language restrictions, on January 15, 2019 for studies that contained one or more of the terms "survival", "cancer", "incidence" "," Mortality "and" trends "to identify relevant population-based studies that assess survival along with incidence or mortality, or both, for one or more of the following cancers: esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, and ovary. Comparing international population-based cancer survival differences has proven to be a very complicated but crucial way to develop and evaluate strategies for early detection, quality of clinical care and management of cancer patients. Although consistent improvements in cancer survival have been reported over the past two decades, survival differences appear to persist for most cancer sites, which motivates political reform in specific countries.
Added value for this study
As part of the second phase of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP), Cancer Survival in High Income Countries (SURVMARK-2) benchmarks 1
Implications of all available evidence
We found that cancer survival continues to improve across high-income countries, although international differences persist even for cancers with poor prognoses. Progress is likely due to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment, along with policy reforms that have guaranteed improved pathways to diagnosis and treatment. The favorable 20-year gastrointestinal, colon, lung (men) and ovarian cancer incidence and mortality rates are likely due to the delivery of interventions across the spectrum of cancer control, including effective cancer prevention and treatment. Although differences in registration practice, classification, and coding are unlikely to explain the variations reported here, ICBP SURVMARK-2 attempts to quantify the effect of specific registration-related factors on country-specific cancer survival, including definitions of diagnosis date, and how death certificates (such as the original source of registration), based on previous assessments. Innovative measures to survive cancer will be included in upcoming articles and made publicly available through an online tool to facilitate next-generation benchmarking studies.