Year 2018 2019 2020 Total Investments (lei) 77,741.59 278,652.19 480,429.61 836,823.39
– Romanian Society of Pediatric Oncology-Hematology (SROHP)
– Oncology Institute “Ion Chiricuță” Cluj-Napoca
Expertise: Joint Research Center – Cancer Information Unit of the European Comission
European Citizen’s Prize 2020 awarded by The European Parliament for the project “Developing The Romanian Childhood Cancer Registry”
First Prize Health category – Romania at the Civil Society Gala, XVIIth edition, June 3rd 2019
- 100% National coverage
- Casuistry filled out: January 1st,2010 – present
- International acknowledgement, admission as member of the ENCR – European Network of Cancer Registries.
- For the first time in Romania, knowledge of the incidence and survival rate for child cancer in our country.
Since 2018, our organization supports the development of the Romanian Childhood Cancer Registry (RCCR) in a strategic partnership with the Romanian Society of Pediatric Oncology-Hematology and with technical assistance from the Oncology Institute “Ion Chiricuță” Cluj-Napoca.
RCCR is an essential resource to survival chances improvement for the children with cancer in Romania, being the main objective source of information on their needs and for the planning of Pediatric Oncology (PO) services development in our country.
In June 2019 RCCR was considered the most significant contribution to health in Romania by civil society – being awarded the First Prize of the Health section at the Civil Society Gala.
Why is a special Childhood Cancer Registry needed?
- Cancer in children and young people is a rare disease, completely different from adult cancer. Therefore, international cancer policy leading organizations (WHO and EC) recommend distinct registration through dedicated national registries.
- The primary goal of cancer registries is to determine incidence. The annual number of new cases is the basis of any policy for allocating resources for cancer, but also the basis for understanding the cancer phenomenon as a whole.
- The existence of a high quality cancer registry is the main condition for inclusion in clinical trials, (which ensures the best chances in tumors with low survival.) In the absence of a high standard Pediatric Cancer Registry, children hospitalized in Romania do not benefit from this precious opportunity.
- A critical success factor for the development of The Romanian Childhood Cancer Registry is the appropriate territorial coverage, which means that all pediatric oncology centers in Romania should report all new cases, every year. Despite the fact that the RCCR database was initiated in September 2009, by 2018 it couldn’t collect even 60% of the new cases. Discontinuity in funding, excessive bureaucracy, poor communication and a narrow strategic horizon have hampered the continued participation of PO centers in the RCCR and it’s sustained functioning at national level.
- In order to evaluate and solve the problems in the registration of cases at the level of pediatric oncology centers, we had working meetings with heads of departments and specialists from the 13 Pediatric Oncology (PO) clinics in Romania, as well as with experts of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Oncology Institute “Ion Chiricuţă” Cluj-Napoca -which provides methodological and technical expertise in this project.
- Following these meetings, a national network for the registration of childhood cancer was formed in Romania, which – in addition to reporting new cases today – initiated a retrospective completion of the RCCR cases, from the database establishment 2010 to -2017.
- Until 2018, the reporting of data was done in word format by the participating centers, being cumbersome and incomplete. Through the project, the online reporting was initiated on a dedicated platform (oncped.iocn.ro) made available by the Oncological Institute “Ion Chiricuță” Cluj within the North-West Regional Cancer Registry (the only cancer registry in Romania internationally recognized)
- The initial data collection tool – the ONC file recommended by the competent European fora and implemented in Romania by Order of the Minister of Health – contains a minimal dataset, which mainly meets the requirements for adult cancer registration and does not cover the specific features of childhood cancers. For this reason, after consulting with specialists from the pediatric onco-hematology centers and international literature, we undertook an optimization process of the reporting platform, so as to capture clinical aspects specific to childhood cancer. It was finalized in 2019 by introducing new fields for recording essential clinical information for the analysis of child cancer situation, such as: the Toronto staging system, the patient pathway in country and/or abroad, treatments and their outcome, long-term follow-up.
- Our RNCCR development project presentation at the Regional Meeting of Pediatric Onco-hematology in Central and Eastern Europe (October 2018) and at the JARC Joint Workshop (March 2019) was highly appreciated and opened the perspective of a cooperation for optimizing the registration of pediatric cancers at Central and Eastern European level.
- In October 2018, the Romanian Childhood Cancer Registry was accepted for affiliation by the European Network of Cancer Registries (www.encr.eu) an indication that RCCR meets the quality criteria imposed by ENCR for cancer registries, thus allowing Romania to participate with actual data in international statistics on childhood cancer.
- In February 2019, the First Analysis on Updated National Data on Childhood Cancer (link to ppt with RNCCR 2019) was launched in Romania – based on the first RCCR report after the retrospective completion of the database for the period 2010-2017. All the incident cases registered with the PO network at national level were recovered, thus allowing for the first time the calculation of the incidence (frequency of occurrence) of childhood cancer in Romania.
In developing the Romanian Childhood Cancer Registry (RCCR), we collaborate with:
- Dr. Mihaela Bucurenci, Public Health Expert, RCCR coordinator
- specialists of the of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Oncology Institute “Ion Chiricuţă” Cluj-Napoca
- North West Regional Cancer Registry
- heads of PO departments and pediatric oncologists from Romanian PO centers
- experts of the Joint Research Center – Cancer Information Unit al Comisiei Europene
- The National Childhood Cancer Registry will provide on an ongoing basis a national updated epidemiological picture of pediatric oncologic pathology on the Romanian territory, as an established core resource for national and international research.
- For the first time in Romania, the specific needs of cancer in children will be known objectively : the annual number of children in need of specific medical care, the need for doctors and specialized departments, the need for medicines, specific investigations and medical devices.
- The registry provides a starting basis for any objective and comprehensive assessment of the performance of our national health system in caring for children with cancer and the basis of any National Cancer Plan for the pediatric population.
The full Report of the project can be consulted here.