Public Release: 

LA Tumor Registry at LSUHSC receives $1.3 million from NCI

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, LA - The Louisiana Tumor Registry (LTR) at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health has been awarded a $1.3 million contract by the National Cancer Institute to continue its work as a SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) Program-designated cancer registry. There are 18 competitively awarded SEER cancer registries in the United States.

"The SEER Program is the most authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States," said Dr. Elizabeth Fontham, Dean of the LSUHSC-NOLA School of Public Health. "Continued designation recognizes the excellence of our Louisiana Tumor Registry and confirms the exceptionally high quality of its data."

The SEER Program collects cancer incidence and survival data from 18 population-based cancer registries covering about 28% of the U.S. population. It is considered to be the standard for quality among cancer registries around the world. Quality control has been an integral part of SEER since its inception.

Cancer is a reportable disease in the State of Louisiana. Hospitals, private pathology laboratories, radiation centers, physicians, nursing homes, hospices, other licensed health care facilities and providers who diagnose and/or treat cancers are required by law to report cancer cases to the LTR. The Registry includes the central office located at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and eight regional offices. Each regional registry is responsible for ascertaining all cancer cases from all possible sources in its region. The central office provides training, ensures high quality data by consolidating and editing records of abstracts, and manages statewide database, as well as analyzes the data and conducts special studies.

The primary function of a cancer registry is to record the occurrence of cancer in a population. To achieve this goal, the LTR has established inter-state data exchange programs with nineteen states to receive data on Louisiana cancer patients who are diagnosed and/or treated at out-of-state facilities. Information collected by LTR includes demographic data, tumor type, stage of disease, tumor markers, treatment, and survival. Information on risk factors is usually not available from the reporting sources. However, data from the registry often provides clues to be pursued in special research studies conducted by qualified scientists with external funding.

In 1995, the Louisiana Tumor Registry was transferred from the Louisiana Office of Public Health to the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. Since then, the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center has received strong and continued institutional support that has translated into impressive productivity and federal funding. Achievements include the first place award on its data quality profiles from the NCI SEER Program consecutively from 2010 to 2012 and a gold certification award on its data quality from North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) every year since 1995. In 2012, LTR received the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) 20th Anniversary Research Award for its scientific and epidemiologic soundness of study designs, innovative use of central cancer registry data, quality and number of scientific outcomes (peer-reviewed papers, posters, and abstracts resulting from research), and potential or actual impact on cancer early detection, diagnosis, or treatment that will lead to improved outcomes or contributions to knowledge about cancer causes or control. In addition to routine data collection, the LTR has built infrastructures and collected data to support all types of cancer research studies from etiology study, cancer prevention, linkage study, patterns of care study, comparative effectiveness research, and patient outcome study to survivorship study.

"This funding allows us to continue providing Louisiana citizens, health professionals, policy makers and others required information for cancer prevention and control, and building infrastructures and capacities to support more cancer research, including cancer care delivery research," notes Xiao Cheng Wu, MD, MPH, LSUHSC Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry, and Principal Investigator of this NCI contract. "Our data are used for prevention, early detection, treatment, and survival which, in turn, contribute to the development of national policy and efforts."


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSUHSC research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit and

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