Global Variations in the Level of Cancer-Related Research Activity and Correlation to Cancer-Specific Mortality: Proposal for a Global Curriculum

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of this study was to analyze global variations in the level of cancer-related research activity and correlate this with cancer-specific mortality.

Methods

The SCOPUS database was explored to obtain data relating to the number of cancer-related publications per country. Cancer-specific mortality rates were obtained from the World Health Organization. Global variations in the level of scholarly activity were analyzed and correlated with variations in cancer-specific mortality.

Results

Data for 142 countries were obtained and significant variations in the level of research activity was noted. The level of research activity increased with rising socio-economic status. The United States was the most prolific country with 222,300 publications followed by Japan and Germany. Several countries in different regions of the world had a low level of research activity. An inverse relationship between the level of research activity and cancer-specific mortality was noted. This relationship persisted even in countries with a low level of research activity. The socioeconomic status of a nation and geographic location (continent) had a mixed influence with an overall apparent correlation with cancer-related research activity.

Conclusion

This study demonstrates significant global variation in the level of cancer-related research activity and a correlation with cancer-specific mortality. The presence of a minimum set of standards for research literacy, as proposed by the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the Society of Surgical Oncology may contribute to enhanced research activity and improve outcomes for cancer patients worldwide.

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Disclosure

The authors have no conflicts to disclose.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Are MD, MBA, FRCS, FACS.

Additional information

This article was approved by the Executive Council of the Society of Surgical Oncology and the European Society of Surgical Oncology in March 2017 for simultaneous publication in the Annals of Surgical Oncology and the European Journal of Surgical Oncology.

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Are, C., Caniglia, A., Mohammed, M. et al. Global Variations in the Level of Cancer-Related Research Activity and Correlation to Cancer-Specific Mortality: Proposal for a Global Curriculum. Ann Surg Oncol 25, 594–603 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-017-6276-6

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Keywords

  • Cancer-specific Mortality
  • Global Curriculum
  • Scholarly Activity
  • Low- To Middle-income Countries (LMICs)
  • Medium Human Development Index (MHDI)