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Oxford Lead


WHO Classification of Tumours: a Living Evidence Gap Map by Tumour Type


The WHO Classification of Tumours (WCT) is a global reference for pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, and researchers, and forms the histopathological basis of cancer diagnosis around the world. It is vital that the WCT is informed by the best available evidence, but the risk of incorporating misinformation into the clinical decisions pathway exist.


We aim to map the evidence cited in the WCT with the aim of improving future editions and guiding cancer researchers in where to direct efforts in generating new data. This project will actively involve members of the WCT editorial and authorship team. 


We will be using a novel method known as an Evidence Gap Map (EGM) and this will help identify gaps and pockets of low‐level evidence in current the WCT volumes. We will map and rank the evidence in the WCT using a new hierarchy of evidence for tumour pathology, which will be developed bespoke for this project using a Delphi study. 


The resulting EGMs will increase the discoverability and use of studies by the WCT decision‐makers, research commissioners and researchers, and will represent a ground‐breaking advance for the research in the field, impacting over time positively in cancer diagnosis and management.


IARC has received a €3.5 million Horizon grant rom the European Commission, which in the UK is delivered by Innvate UK (UKRI).


This project is being developed under IARC’s leadership, led by Dr Ian Cree, along with researchers at the Oxford University (NDS), the DHM German Heart Centre (Munich), ISCIII Páginas - Instituto de Salud Carlos III,  ScHARR School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Institute Curie (Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology), and Singapore General Hospital.


IARC are currently looking for a systematic reviewer to help with this project. NDS will also be advertising in due course. 

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