Paediatric cancer staging e-learning modules

To complement the educational offer in cancer staging, UICC and the free online platform ecancer have jointly produced new e-learning modules for staging paediatric cancers. Photo taken at the Istanbul University Oncology Institute.
15 November 2021

To complement the educational offer in cancer staging, UICC and the free online platform ecancer have jointly produced new e-learning modules for staging paediatric cancers.

Approximately 400,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year among children and adolescents aged 0 to 19, and it is the leading cause of death in this population. However, there are wide variations between regions. For children diagnosed with cancer in high-income countries, approximately 80% survive five years or more after the diagnosis of cancer. However, in many LMICs, survival rates are drastically lower, frequently not reaching more than 30% in a number of settings and, in some countries, falling below 10%.

Addressing childhood cancer is part of the implementation of the Cancer Resolution, adopted in May 2017 by the World Health Assembly. A year later in 2018, the World Health Organization launched its Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer aimed at increasing child cancer survival rates to at least 60% globally and alleviating the suffering of all children by 2030.

The new e-learning modules offered by UICC and ecancer are based on the Toronto Childhood Cancer Stage Guidelines, which have been developed to facilitate the collection of internationally consistent and comparable information on childhood cancer stage at diagnosis. The Toronto Staging Guidelines have been endorsed by the UICC and are published in the 8th edition of the UICC TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours.

The guidelines found in the e-learning modules are intended for population-based cancer registries and cancer surveillance purposes. They are not intended to replace the staging systems used for clinical trials, nor to reflect or guide clinical decision making. The guidelines include a two-tiered approach that provides less detailed criteria for registries with limited resources and/or limited data access (Tier 1) and more detailed criteria for better-resourced registries (Tier 2).

Two new modules have been launched. The first module focuses on general aspects of paediatric cancer stage and solid tumours. The second module addresses the staging guidelines for bone and soft tissue sarcoma. This e-learning series will be completed next year with additional two modules covering haematological malignancies and nervous system tumours, respectively.

Each module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and includes a voice-over and interactive quiz. After completing the two new modules, participants will know the general principles and tiered classification system of the paediatric cancer stage, will understand the paediatric cancer stage and its application to solid tumours, bone and soft tissue sarcoma, and should be able to apply them to real cancer cases. 

“We hope that these new e-learning modules will help cancer registrars to use the Toronto Staging Guidelines which in turn will lead to better and consistent data collection and thus facilitate international comparisons and studies.”
–    Dr Liesbet Van Eycken, UICC TNM Helpdesk Editor and Director of the Belgian Cancer Registry, whose team created the paediatric staging e-modules.

Last update: 
Monday 15 November 2021
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