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Knowledge Centre on Cancer

We foster scientific and technical coordination of EU activities on cancer, while expanding the EU’s capacities and systems for prevention, early detection, treatment and care.

Page | Last updated: 08 Apr 2024

The European Cancer Information System (ECIS)

Providing up-to-date cancer burden indicators across Europe, exploring geographical patterns and temporal trends of incidence, mortality, and survival data for the major cancer entities.

What is ECIS?

The European Cancer Information System (ECIS) is a comprehensive health and research infrastructure harmonising cancer registries’ data and producing meaningful information to facilitate the interpretation of the dynamics of cancer burden in Europe.

Data needed to quantify the cancer burden in a population are systematically collected by population-based cancer registries (CR), which are the information source for all reportable cancer cases in the specific geographic area.

Since 2012, in response to the call from the European Council to the Commission to act further in harmonising EU cancer registration, the JRC has initiated the development of the ECIS while taking an active role in supporting the activities of the European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR).


ECIS's data sources and data flow picture



The European Cancer Information System (ECIS) - Media card
(907.69 KB - pdf)


The JRC and the ENCR promote the harmonisation of cancer registry data and registration processes in Europe. Furthermore, central data collection at the JRC ensures data validation and comparability of cancer indicators across Europe and alignment with the major stakeholders, organisation and research groups active in cancer surveillance at European and international level.

The ECIS infrastructure consists of several components to manage a central data repository and to co-ordinate in an efficient and sustainable way the activities of data quality control, analysis and dissemination.


The ECIS web application

ECIS logo

The ECIS web application disseminates cancer burden indicators by cancer type, geographical area, sex, age and year, permitting the exploration of geographical patterns and temporal trends of incidence, mortality, and survival across European areas for up to 58 different cancer entities.

The application delivers three main types of information:

  • historical incidence and mortality indicators at registry level,
  • national incidence and mortality predictions
  • national survival estimates

The database feeding the web application is dynamic, and is updated as new data become available. It currently hosts more than 34 million cancer cases submitted by approximately 150 European population-based CR in 34 European countries.

New modules on cancer prevalence and on childhood cancer are currently under development.



International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) logo

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

The specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization promotes international collaboration in cancer research. The IARC and the International Association of Cancer Registries collaborate in the project Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5). The series of monographs, published every five years, has become the reference source of data on the international incidence of cancer. The CI5 databases provide access to detailed information on the incidence of cancer recorded by cancer registries (regional or national) worldwide. IARC and JRC collaborate in the publication of national estimates for cancer incidence and mortality in all European countries (available in the ECIS web application). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


The European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR) logo

The European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR)

ENCR promotes collaboration between European cancer registries, defines data collection standards, supports cancer registry personnel with training and provides the data that forms the basis for the computation of cancer burden indicators in the European Union and Europe. Read more about the European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR) currently almost 200 individual registries across Europe (comprising non-EU countries). Read more about ENCR at ECIS - European Cancer Information System 





Collaborative research projects on cancer survival in Europe.
Read more about EUROCARE at ECIS - The EUROCARE study