Background and Legal Basis

The National Institute for Cancer Epidemiology and Registration (NICER) was founded in May 2007 by the Swiss Cancer Registries Network and Oncosuisse with the contribution of the University of Zurich (UZH). NICER was established as an independent foundation and its purposes are layed down in the foundation charter. According to its regulations the foundation promotes and supports population-based cancer registration and epidemiological cancer research in Switzerland. Prior to the founding of NICER, data had been collected by some Swiss cantons starting in 1969. This data and the data compiled by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) provide information on cancer incidence, mortality, prevalence, and survival in Switzerland. Studies and analyses are also conducted on risk factors and on various aspects of prevention and treatment. NICER is supported mainly by federal funds.


The registration of the foundation is filed with the Commercial Registry Office of the canton of Zurich. The organization encompasses a foundation council, a scientific advisory board, a registries advisory board, and the Coordination Centre. The composition and the functions of these bodies are described in the organizational regulations of NICER.

National Coordination Centre

In order to execute its core functions as a national coordination centre, NICER profits from national subsidies, provided by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), which is part of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). A subvention contract defines the main tasks of NICER. It covers the following working domains:

  • Support of the FOPH in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the national cancer programme
  • Competence centre for questions/requests in the domain of cancer registration
  • Publication and reporting
  • Collaboration in project groups


NICER is acting in close collaboration with other partners such as Swiss Cancer League (SCL), Cancer Research Switzerland (CRS), Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Swiss Pediatric Oncology Group (SPOG) in order to ensure coherence of its contribution to the National Cancer Programme 2011–2015. Since 2010, NICER is standing member of Oncosuisse.