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LA Tumor Registry at LSUHSC awarded $12 million SEER contract by NCI

New Orleans, LA The Louisiana Tumor Registry (LTR) at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health has been awarded a $12 million contract over seven years by the National Cancer Institute to continue its work as a SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) Program-designated cancer registry. There are 18 competitively awarded SEER cancer registries in the United States.

"The SEER Program is the most authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States," said Dr. Elizabeth Fontham, Dean of the LSUHSC-NOLA School of Public Health. "Continued designation recognizes the excellence of our Louisiana Tumor Registry and confirms the exceptionally high quality of its data."

The SEER Program collects cancer incidence and survival data from 18 population-based cancer registries covering about 26% of the U.S. population. It is considered to be the standard for quality among cancer registries around the world. Quality control has been an integral part of SEER since its inception.

Cancer is a reportable disease in the State of Louisiana. Hospitals, private pathology laboratories, radiation centers and health care providers who diagnose or treat cancer are required by law to report the cancer cases to the Louisiana Tumor Registry at the LSU Health Sciences Center. The Registry includes the central office located at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and eight regional offices. Each regional registry is responsible for ascertaining all cancer cases from all possible sources in its region. The central office provides training, ensures high quality data by consolidating and editing records, and manages statewide database, as well as analyzes the data and conducts special studies.

The primary function of a cancer registry is to record the occurrence of cancer in a population. Information collected by LTR includes demographic data, tumor type, stage of disease, treatment, and survival. Information on risk factors is usually not available from the reporting sources. However, data from the registry often provides clues to be pursued in special research studies conducted by qualified scientists with external funding.

In 1995, the Louisiana Tumor Registry was transferred from the Louisiana Office of Public Health to the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. Since then, the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center has enjoyed strong institutional support that has translated into impressive productivity. Achievements include the 1996 publication of the first comprehensive statewide monograph of Cancer Incidence in Louisiana (Volume 8 which included nine issues), Childhood Cancer in Louisiana, 1988-1996, the first comprehensive volume on childhood cancers in Louisiana, publications of Cancer in the Industrial Corridor, and multiple comprehensive statewide Cancer Incidence and Mortality monographs including the parish cancer profile. LTR data have been included in five volumes of Cancer in Five Continents published by the World Health Organization, United States Cancer Statistics published annually by NCI/CDC, Cancer Statistics Review by NCI and State Cancer Profile website.

Since 1995, data from the Louisiana Tumor Registry at the LSU Health Sciences Center have been included in the U.S. Combined Rates in Cancer in North America monographs published by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). Dr. Vivien W. Chen, Dr. Xiao Cheng Wu and other epidemiology faculty at the LSUHSC School of Public Health have been the editors of Cancer in North America since 1998. Only data meeting rigid standards for excellence and timeliness are considered for inclusion in these publications.

"This funding allows us to provide Louisiana citizens, health professionals, policy makers, and others, information about cancer incidence and mortality to better understand this devastating disease and improve health," notes Dr. Vivien W. Chen, LSUHSC Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry, and Principal Investigator on the contract. "Our data are used for prevention, early detection, treatment, and survival which, in turn, contribute to the development of national policy and efforts."


Contact: Leslie Capo
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

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