The Project EUROCARE-4 continues monitoring cancer survival in Europe, including additional countries and patients diagnosed between 1995 and 2002. This allows to analyse whether the substantial differences in survival between countries which emerged from the previous surveys are still present. For the first time, a period survival analysis has been applied to the largest available European dataset. Period analysis provides more up-to-date long-term survival estimates as it considers exclusively survival experience of cancer patients in a recent calendar period. In EUROCARE-4, the reference period of follow-up considers the years 2000-2003. EUROCARE-4 also intended to substantially shorten the delay between data collection and the publication of the results.
The EUROCARE-4 data base has now included data on more than 13 millions of cancer diagnoses from 1978 to 2002, with follow-up for vital status ascertainment until the end of 2003. These data were received from 93 population based cancer registries in 23 European countries.
As for the previous EUROCARE runs, the Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (INT) in Milan (Italy) maintains its responsibility as the Co-ordinating Centre and “home” of the Steering Committee. The Data Analysis Centre of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in Rome (Italy) is storing the EUROCARE Data Base and performs data checks and basic analyses.