A coordination meeting to initiate a regional comparative breast cancer research programme was organized by WHO, in collaboration with Susan G Komen for the Cure, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 21 to 22 January 2012. The objectives of the meeting were to:
- discuss the plan of action for the implementation of the regional comparative breast cancer research programme
- endorse the proposed breast cancer information system database and highlight its feasibility and possible limitations
- agree on the collaborative process of data collection through the different participating regional cancer facilities
- provide an opportunity for the piloting cancer facilities to share experience and feasible approaches to overcome the expected challenges
- agree on the overall process of monitoring, evaluation, analysis and programme funding.
The meeting was attended by experts from the National Cancer Institute, Cairo University (Egypt), National Cancer Research Program, Ministry of Health (Iraq), King Hussein Cancer Centre (Jordan), Lebanese Cancer Society (Lebanon), as well as representatives from International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Susan G Komen for the Cure and WHO.
IARC representatives provided practical training on utilizing the breast cancer information system database and a comprehensive review of the proposed questionnaire and the role of IARC in supervising the overall process of data collection, analysis and reporting.
Country representatives and statisticians reached consensus on the feasibility, capabilities and modifications of the proposed questionnaire.