Publication date: 
July 17, 2018

Seattle, Wash., and Memphis, Tenn. – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington are partnering to advance knowledge and understanding of childhood cancer around the world. The collaborators will collect and share data, leveraging their expertise in health metrics sciences to provide more accurate estimates of the global burden of cancer among children. 

“St. Jude has worked to improve outcomes for childhood cancer in nations around the world for more than 20 years,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “Collaborating with its team will allow us to expand our annual Global Burden of Disease study by providing more in-depth data on pediatric oncology, an important and too often overlooked area. If we can glean more insights that can be shared with practitioners, policymakers, and others, we hope to reduce deaths related to pediatric cancer.”  

There are significant global disparities in survival rates for childhood cancer. While many pediatric cancers have cure rates of 80 percent or more in certain nations, cure rates for these same cancers in low- and middle-income regions can be as low as 10 percent.

As part of this partnership, faculty from St. Jude will provide technical expertise to guide pediatric-specific cancer estimates, coordinate data collection efforts, and leverage institutional strengths to integrate the impact of childhood cancer survivorship into global disease burden analyses. Faculty and staff at IHME will analyze these data to generate better estimates of childhood cancer and help to disseminate the results to stakeholder groups. 

“Childhood cancer is rarely mentioned when governmental ministries and large multilateral agencies prioritize global disease interventions,” said Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Chair of Department of Global Pediatric Medicine and Executive Vice President at St. Jude. “We are delighted to work with IHME to build global knowledge of pediatric cancers. This collaboration will yield vital information to inform health service delivery and ensure that every child has access to quality cancer care regardless of where he or she lives.”

The annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and population. With more than 3,000 collaborators in nearly 150 countries and territories, the GBD study examines 300-plus diseases and injuries. Estimates produced are used worldwide to direct resources, identify gaps in data availability, and focus attention for policymakers, donors, or other stakeholders. 

Christopher Murray, IHME Director, and Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Chair of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit or follow the hospital on Twitter and Instagram at @stjuderesearch.

Established in 2007, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center within UW Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. IHME provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates strategies to address them. IHME makes this information available so that policymakers, donors, practitioners, researchers, and local and global decision-makers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to improve population health. For more information, visit