Cancers occurring in children are marked by low incidence rates, typical histologies, favourable survival in resource-rich countries, long-term survivorship issues, and a range of ethical, psychological, and societal concerns. These characteristics, combined with data presentation requirements unique to these cancers, make a strong case for oncologists and epidemiologists to study childhood cancers separately from other cancers.

As a part of its mission of collecting and disseminating data on cancer, IARC recognizes the need for a specific approach to collecting and disseminating childhood cancer data. Following the publication of the first two volumes of International Incidence of Childhood Cancer in 1988 (IICC-1) [10] and 1998 (IICC-2) [8], IARC launched, in collaboration with IACR, the third monograph in the series. The new publication will fill the gap in the availability of international data on childhood cancer incidence, after the two previous volumes, which covered roughly the 1970s and the 1980s, respectively.

As from 1 May 2014, this study is also supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), to complement the human resources needed for the completion of the project.