The International Collaboration on Nutrition in relation to Cancer (ICONIC) is a formal Task Force of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS).

ICONIC has been a formal Task Force of the International Union for Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) since 2018. The establishment of ICONIC was an important development from the NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration, as a mechanism through which it would be possible to bring together the wider international expressions of interest in nutrition and cancer.

In the first instance, ICONIC has been established as a Task Force of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), with continued participation from the following organisations:  the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), the International Union for International Cancer control (UICC), the International Malnutrition Task Force (IMTF), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is chaired by Professor Alan Jackson, Emeritus Professor in Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton in the UK.

The Task Force aspires to build collaborations between the responsible bodies involved in nutrition and cancer at international level, with the ambition of adding value by bringing leadership, coherence and focus to existing activities, and stimulating new ones. Through this, the aims are to:


  • Build capacity that will support practitioners in their training and practice
  • Promote research leading to public policy focused on impactful interventions
  • Promote improved care and outcomes for those affected by cancer


In support of the aims above the objectives of the Task Force are to:


  • Foster a global community of clinicians, oncologists, scientists, researchers, patients and the public to share knowledge, understanding and best practice;
  • Jointly deliver high quality research; to build capability and capacity in the area of nutrition and cancer to foster excellence in research and practice and ensure continuity into the future;
  • Raise awareness of the opportunities to improve prevention and care in people living with and beyond cancer through nutrition; and
  • Provide a robust base for public policy to address the increasing burden of cancer.

The work programme of ICONIC has drawn on the experience of the NIHR Collaboration, in particular in terms of identifying funding opportunities for research and wider organisation, and bringing international parties together to make collaborative grant applications within the global arena.

With agreement from IUNS to extend its term as a Task Force to 2025, ICONIC remains committed to taking the lead on developing awareness of the importance of diet, nutrition and physical activity in the causation and management of cancer within the international community, and building capability and capacity, especially in lower- and middle-income countries (LMIC). It continues to look for opportunities to engage with those from all sectors and disciplines with a common interest in this area.

For more information about ICONIC’s activity and current areas of focus, please see here . ICONIC’s 2022 annual report is also available to view here.

ICONIC published a review in October 2022 in Trends in Food Science and Technology, setting out its immediate priorities for helping drive forward the ambition to bring change. Click here to read the review.


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For further information about the Task Force or to get involved, please contact Rachel Marklew (Project Manager) using the form below.


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