The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research


The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)  

is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that was established to address a neglected global health problem – the ever increasing burden of cancer in developing countries. The founder members of INCTR included the former Institut Pasteur in Brussels and the International Union Against Cancer, now known as the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The National Cancer Institute in the United States provided financial and technical support and the organization began its activities in 2000. INCTR’s headquarters are located in Brussels and it has branches throughout the world. INCTR became an NGO in Official Relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) in January 2010. 


INCTR’s goals – Making a difference
  • To reduce the incidence of cancer in resource-limited countries through public and professional education about the causes of cancer and how to use this information in cancer prevention
  • To detect cancer early through public and professional education about the early signs of cancer and what to do if they appear
  •  To diagnose cancer accurately through pathology training and, where important and feasible, imaging techniques
Who INCTR works with
INCTR utilizes health care professionals familiar with the problems of developing countries to enable it to achieve its goals. See Box 2. INCTR develops local capacity within these countries by training health care professionals to establish “centres of excellence” in the delivery of feasible, affordable and effective care, including palliative care, that are considered “best practice” so that they, in turn, can train others within their country or region. INCTR works through its branches in implementing various programmes and projects conducted in collaboration with partner institutions in developing countries. INCTR integrates research into its programmes in order that outcomes can be documented and evaluated. This, in turn, enables health care professionals working in less- resourced countries to become active contributors to the knowledge of cancer management throughout the world.
INCTR’s structure
INCTR has consultants and volunteers dedicated to the accomplishment of its goals. Although its headquarters are located in Brussels, it has branches in the United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Egypt and Nepal. Branches are legally established NGOs that contribute to and conduct independant programmes and projects that are relevant to INCTR’s mission. INCTR, in collaboration with INCTR USA, has just established a branch in India. Resource development, administration and programmes are supervised by an Executive Committee or directly by the branches. The Executive Committee is responsible to INCTR’s Governing Council. Programmes and projects involving treatment are developed with the participation, input and advice of various INCTR committees and strategy groups as well as independent scientific advisers. Programmes and projects are conducted in collaboration with partner institutions involved with cancer research, treatment, including palliative care, and education in countries with limited resources. Individuals, institutions or organizations often choose to serve as Associate Members who contribute financially to the work of INCTR.
What does INCTR do?
NCTR addresses all aspects of cancer control with the overall goal of lessening the morbidity and mortality from cancer. It emphasizes training and education of health care professionals in low- and middle-income countries to ensure that “best practices” are instilled in cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. Research is an integral part of its work with its partners in these countries in order to accurately document the cancer burden – including the types of cancer and extent of disease, the outcomes of prevention and early detection campaigns and the efficacy of treatment delivered. It also emphasizes public awareness of cancer. INCTR has a variety of programmes that are carried out in close collaboration with its branches as well as its partner institutions in developing countries. INCTR’s current programmes include:

  • adult oncology;
  • cancer registries;
  • clinical research;
  • foundational;
  • oncology nursing;
  • palliative care;
  • paediatric oncology;
  • pathology.
INCTR’s projects and achievements
Each INCTR programme has goals and objectives in line with the overall mission of the organization, divided into separate projects. Many projects have been conducted or are on-going and include: Adult oncology

  • Cervical cancer screening using visual inspection in Nepal and Tanzania.
  • Training of Bolivian health care professionals in cervical cancer screening by Peruvian experts.
  • HPV vaccination of young girls in Nepal.

Cancer registry

  • Establishing an East African Registry Network (EARN) that subsequently became the African Cancer Registry Network (AFCRN). As part of the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development in LMIC, the Network acts as a consortium to provide a “regional hub” for cancer registries in sub-Saharan Africa. The AFCRN is supporting or assisting the development of 22 cancer registries in the region, including English-and French-speaking countries.
  • Provision of training courses in cancer registration and the use of CanReg 5.
  • Participation in collaborative international research.
  • Visits of INCTR consultants to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to review cancer registration procedures and data quality and to Uganda to offer advice on setting up a cancer registry.

Clinical research

  • The treatment and characterization of acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in children, adolescents and young adults in India – over 450 patients have been treated by four institutions.
  • The treatment and characterization of Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa – over 600 patients have been treated by seven centres in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Survival is greater than 60% at 5 years.
  • Understanding problems faced by parents of children with Retinoblastoma before treatment – 435 parents interviewed from institutions in 10 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
  • Situational analysis of breast cancer – 8,800 medical records of women treated for breast cancer in four institutions in Peru, Egypt, Pakistan and India.
  • Studies carried out in Brazil, India, Pakistan and Turkey to determine delays in diagnosing and treating Nasopharyngeal carcinoma and assess the role of consanguinity and familial history in this cancer.
  • A new initiative to characterize lymphoproliferative diseases in adults in Senegal with Universities in Dakar.
  • Development of a pathological and radiological review for Brazilian patients with Medulloblastoma in partnership with the Brazilian Society of Paediatric Oncology.


  • Accreditation Programme in the conduct of clinical trials in institutions in Brazil.
  • Educating school children about cancer in Nepal.
  • Evidence-based development through preparation of bibliographies of published literature from developing countries relevant to breast cancer and selected cancers in Egypt.
  • Open Educational Resources for Cancer available online.
  • Thematic workshops to discuss challenges in cancer control in East Africa.
  • Webinars for e-learning.
  • Publication of Cancer Control 2013 with publisher Global Health Dynamics looking at all aspects of cancer policy, prevention, detection, treatment and palliation.

Oncology nursing

  • Development of a specific curriculum for training and educating nurses in the principles of paediatric oncology nursing for Ethiopia.

Palliative access (PAX)

  • Training and educating health care professionals – doctors, nurses and social workers in the principles of palliative care – in Brazil, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Sénégal, Mali, Tanzania, India and Nepal.
  • Sensitization workshops for government officials and the public in Brazil, Tanzania, India and Nepal.
  • Development of a centre of excellence in palliative care for both adults and children in Hyderabad, India.
  • Lobbying governments to improve access to opioids for terminally-ill cancer patients – Nepal and India.
  • Establishment of twinning programmes with hospices in Canada that support palliative care efforts in Nepal.
  • Fostering the establishment of palliative care societies – in Nepal and Pakistan.
  • Promoting paediatric palliative care in Pakistan.
  • Publishing a palliative care handbook describing the management of a wide variety of symptoms in English, Portuguese, French and Turkish.
  • Development of the “Life at Your Doorstep” home care programme offering extensive, 24/7 support for patients and families struggling with advanced and terminal illness in the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
  • Palliative care workshops and training courses for Francophone sub-Saharan Africa organized by AMCC in partnership with AFSO were held in Uganda and Ivory Coast.
  • Establishment of palliative care centres of reference and training in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa (Mali, Cameroon, Ivory Coast).
  • Canadian branch provides training in India for St Mary Hospital in palliative care and fosters a collaborative approach between palliative care and health care in Nepal.


  • Central pathology review of Burkitt Lymphoma in institutions participating in the treatment protocol for this disease in Africa.
  • Training and education workshops for pathologists and clinicians.
  • Training and education workshops for technicians and pathologists in techniques to improve diagnostic capabilities.
  • Use of iPath – an internet telepathology programme – for consultation, training and education.
  • Provision of training and education of haematopathologists in Francophone African countries (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sénégal).
  • “What can we learn from Africa” pathology workshop held in Mombasa for pathologists from Africa to improve the ability of African haematopathologists to diagnose haematopathologocal neoplasms using the World Health Organization Classification.
  • Setting up of a project to characterize lymphoproliferative disorders in adults in Senegal in partnership with local universities.
  • Programme to improve pathologic and haematologic diagnostics established in Ethiopia using on-site and on-line training.

Paediatric oncology

  • Establishment of centres of reference for the treatment of retinoblastoma – Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Mentoring of Indian paediatric oncologists in the development of a common treatment protocol for Wilms Tumour.
  • Conducting workshops and symposia on topics of relevance in developing countries.
  • Promotion of the establishment of paediatric oncology societies – Philippines and Pakistan.
  • Development of a centre of excellence in paediatric oncology at the Santa Marcelina Hospital/TUCCA in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Conducting a campaign for the early diagnosis of retinoblastoma including, but not limited to, the  translation of a film showing a child with early retinoblastoma into 12 languages and distributing the film around the world (Brazil); development and wide dissemination and display of posters (Mexico and Brazil); and establishment of a retinoblastoma day (Turkey and Brazil).
  • Ophthalmology nurses from the Democratic Republic of Congo trained in France to fit  prosthetic eyes.

Psychosocial support

  • Development of an educational programme relating to the psychosocial needs of cancer patients in conjunction with the Brazilian Society of Paediatric Oncology.

World Health Organization

  • Organized the 2009 update of the WHO Essential Medicines List for Cancer.
  • Participated in guideline updating and development (cervical cancer, Kaposi sarcoma and referral guidelines for breast and cervical cancer).
  • Consultation with Dr Jean Marie Dangou, Head of AFRO (African Regional Office of WHO) on non-AIDS defining malignancies in HIV positive individuals.
  • INCTR organized an advisory meeting for WHO AFRO relating to AIDS-related but non-AIDS defining cancers in Africa. A report was provided to AFRO.
  • Advising EMRO on a planned high-level meeting in the region late in 2014.
Partner institutions in developing countries
  • ‰ King Faisal Specialist Hospital (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
  • ‰ Children Cancer Institute, Ziauddin Medical University (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • ‰ Jinnah Hospital Lahore – Allama Iqbal Medical College (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • ‰ Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Latin America
  • ‰ Santa Marcelina Hospital (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • ‰ Instituto Nacional de Pediatria (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • ‰ Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplãsicas (Lima, Peru)
  • ‰ Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
  • ‰ El Instituto Oncologico Del Oriente Bolivano (Santa Cruz, Bolivia)


  • ‰ Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (Ile Ife, Nigeria)
  • ‰ University College Hospital, Ibadan (Ibadan, Nigeria)
  • ‰ Hôpital Général de Yaoundé (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
  • ‰ Kenyatta National Hospital, University of Nairobi (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • ‰ Bugando Medical Center (Mwanza, Tanzania)
  • ‰ Muhimbili National Hospital (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • ‰ Ocean Road Cancer Institute (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • ‰ Tikur Anbessa Hospital, University of Addis Ababa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
  • ‰ St Mary’s Hospital Lacor (Lacor, Uganda)
  • ‰ Hôpital de Vanga (Vanga, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • ‰ Institut Ophthalmologique Tropical Africain, (Bamako, Mali)
  • ‰ National Cancer Institute (Cairo, Egypt)
  • ‰ Hôpital du Point G, Université de Bamako (Bamako, Mali)
  • ‰ Centre Pasteur du Cameroun (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
  • ‰ Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Sénégal)
  • ‰ CHU Mohammed VI (Marrakesh, Morocco)
  • ‰ Clinique Universitaires, Faculté de Médecine de Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • ‰ Clinique Universitaires, Université de Lubumbashi (Lubumashi, Democratic Republic of Congo)


  • ‰ Ankara University (Ankara, Turkey)
  • ‰ Haceteppe University (Ankara, Turkey)
  • ‰ Dokuz Eylül University (Izmir, Turkey)
  • ‰ King Hussein Cancer Center (Amman, Jordan)
  • ‰ King Faisal Specialist Hospital (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
  • ‰ Children Cancer Institute, Ziauddin Medical University (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • ‰ Jinnah Hospital Lahore – Allama Iqbal Medical College (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • ‰ Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • ‰ All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi, India)
  • ‰ Cancer Institute (WIA) (Chennai, India)
  • ‰ Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre (Mumbai, India)
  • ‰ MNJ Institute of Oncology (Hyderabad, India)
  • ‰ Tata Memorial Centre (Mumbai, India)
  • ‰ Nepal Institute of Health Sciences (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • ‰ B P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital (Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal)
  • ‰ Bhaktapur Cancer Care Hospital (Bhaktapur, Nepal)
  • ‰ Hospice Nepal (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • ‰ Kanti Children’s Hospital (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • ‰ Shechan Hospice (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • ‰ Scheer Memorial Hospital (Banepa, Nepal)
  • ‰ Patan Hospital (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • ‰ Philippine Children’s Medical Center (Quezon City, Philippines)
  • ‰ Shanghai Children’s Hospital (Shanghai, China)
  • ‰ Sarawak General Hospital and Sarawak Hospice Society (Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia)