Research Sections

Section of Evidence Synthesis and Classification

This Section produces the WHO Classification of Tumours, the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, and the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. For each volume, IARC convenes international, interdisciplinary Working Groups of expert scientists to systematically review the pertinent scientific literature and to develop consensus evaluations and classifications. IARC selects these experts based on their knowledge and experience and the absence of real or apparent conflicting interests.

The WHO Classification of Tumours series provides an evidence-based classification of all cancer types to enable diagnosis and research worldwide. The definitions are incorporated into the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes. They are fundamental to treatment of individual patients, monitoring of global cancer occurrence, and research into all aspects of cancer causation, prevention, and therapy.

The IARC Monographs are a series of scientific reviews that identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of cancer. Sometimes called WHO′s “Encyclopaedia of Carcinogens”, the IARC Monographs have reviewed more than 1000 agents and have identified almost 500 known, probable, and possible carcinogens.

The IARC Handbooks complement the IARC Monographs′ evaluations of carcinogenic hazards, providing evidence synthesis and evaluations of the cancer-preventive effects of chemopreventive agents and of primary interventions and cancer screening, using the same rigorous evaluation process as the IARC Monographs.

National and international health agencies can then take action to prevent avoidable exposures to known, probable, and possible carcinogens and to implement cancer-preventive strategies. Individuals, too, can use this information to make better choices that will reduce their risk of cancer.

The Section receives funding from the United States National Cancer Institute, the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the European Commission′s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), the American Cancer Society, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Kingdom Medical Research Council.