Unlocking the potential of population-based cancer registries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Population-based cancer registries have improved dramatically over the last 2 decades. These central cancer registries provide a critical framework that can elevate the science of cancer research. There have also been important technical and scientific advances that help to unlock the potential of population-based cancer registries. These advances include improvements in probabilistic record linkage, refinements in natural language processing, the ability to perform genomic sequencing on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue, and improvements in the ability to identify activity levels of many different signaling molecules in FFPE tissue. This article describes how central cancer registries can provide a population-based sample frame that will lead to studies with strong external validity, how central cancer registries can link with public and private health insurance claims to obtain complete treatment information, how central cancer registries can use informatics techniques to provide population-based rapid case ascertainment, how central cancer registries can serve as a population-based virtual tissue repository, and how population-based cancer registries are essential for guiding the implementation of evidence-based interventions and measuring changes in the cancer burden after the implementation of these interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3729-3737
Number of pages9
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Cancer Society.


  • cancer burden
  • cancer surveillance
  • central cancer registries
  • external validity
  • outcomes research
  • population-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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