Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications (Short Course)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine the United Kingdom

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About Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

This short course is being run by the School's Cancer Survival Group.

A highly experienced faculty will present a stimulating and intensive one-week course on the principles, methods and applications of cancer survival with population-based data, using lectures, computer-based analytic exercises with real data, review sessions and a session for participants to present their own work or ideas. 

Net survival will be the main approach to analysis, with discussion of recent methodological developments (e.g. net survival) and results. The methodological concepts of cancer survival will be illustrated by public health and policy applications throughout the week. Results from recent survival studies will be presented and their interpretation discussed.

Faculty Members

The faculty will include internationally renowned experts in the field of cancer survival analysis and methods, as well as researchers in the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group at the School. External faculty members may include:

  • Prof Paul Dickman, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr Maja Pohar Perme, Institute of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Prof Jacques Estève, Professor Emeritus, Lyon-Sud University, Lyon, France

Who Should Apply?

Epidemiologists, statisticians, physicians and oncologists, public health specialists and others with a direct interest in applied cancer survival analysis, and particularly those working in a cancer registry.

Applicants must have a basic understanding of cancer survival analysis, since this course will include discussion of advanced statistical methods and practical computing, in addition to discussion of the public health applications of cancer survival data.

We do not insist that participants have a qualification in statistics, but some experience is essential in order to take full advantage of the statistical components of the course. All practical sessions will use Stata, therefore some experience with Stata software should be considered essential.

The applied public health elements of the course will be accessible and relevant to all groups.

Course fee

The fee will include course materials, lunch on the first and last days of the course, and tea/coffee at each break. This fee does not include travel or accommodation. The course is for a whole week; daily rates are not available.

  • Participants based in low-, lower-middle and upper-middle income countries may be entitled to a special discounted fee. See the list of eligible countries.  Please periodically check this web-page for updates.
Course objectives

Aims & Objectives

The aims of the course are:

  • to teach the main statistical methods for population-based cancer survival analysis
  • to discuss the main controversies in estimation and interpretation of cancer survival
  • to provide students with an intensive learning environment in which most faculty members will attend all sessions of the course, not just their own
  • to provide opportunities for computer-based practical analysis of real cancer data

Methods covered include:

  • population measures of cancer burden (incidence, prevalence, mortality, survival)
  • all-cause (crude), net and relative survival and excess mortality hazard
  • construction of abridged and complete life tables
  • relative survival analysis, including cohort, complete, period and hybrid approaches
  • multi-adjustment of cancer survival for age, stage and other factors
  • impact of data quality, completeness, stage migration, screening and lead-time bias
  • methods of handling missing data in cancer survival analysis
  • avoidable deaths and population "cure"
  • multi-variable modelling of relative survival and comparison with Cox and Poisson approaches


30 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits have been awarded by the Royal College of Physicians for each course since 2009, and we expect the same approval for 2018.

Course attendance certificate

Each participant will receive a certificate of attendance. There is no examination.

How to apply

Applying for the course



The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team, in the Registry, can provide supporting documentation if requested.

Accommodation and meals

A list of hotels and other accommodation located in the vicinity of the School can be supplied on request to the Registry. Lunch can be purchased from the School's Refectory in the Keppel Street building or the cafe on the Tavistock Place building. Evening meals are not catered for at the School, but there is a large choice of restaurants, cafes and shops nearby.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is committed to improving global health through its programme of short and full-time postgraduate study.

Please note:

  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without your passport. European Economic Area nationals may bring their national identity card instead of their passport. If you are not an EEA national, you must also obtain immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
  • The School may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • The School cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.

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Entry requirements for this course

Contact London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to find course entry requirements.

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