CANCaRe Africa

The Collaborative African Network for Childhood Cancer Care and Research (CANCaRe Africa) was founded in 2019. Our vision is that children with common and curable cancers in sub -Saharan Africa will achieve survival rates greater than 60% in line with the vision of the WHO led Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC). Our mission is to develop, implement and assess locally appropriate treatment guidelines and to reduce both abandonment of treatment and death during treatment to <10%.

CANCaRe Africa aims to be an inclusive platform for multi-centre clinical research and improvement of care of children with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. We are a group of clinicians caring for children with cancer in Africa and give priority to interventions and projects with the highest expected impact on survival. Our programme aims for long term, sustainable impact by doing simple things well. In our view local leaders are in the best position to decide on priorities and assess the feasibility of interventions. Together we find sustainable solutions for local challenges.

Please find a recently published paper  here‘Working Together to Build a Better Future for Children with Cancer in Africa’ which summarises, activities, impact and plans for the future of the CANCaRe Africa group.

MISSION

To develop, implement and assess locally appropriate treatment guidelines and to reduce both abandonment of treatment and death during treatment to <10% in all our projects.

VISION

Children with common and curable cancers in sub -Saharan Africa will achieve survival rates greater than 60% in line with the vision of the WHO led Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC).

Members of the Steering Committee

Dr Vivian Paintsil

Kumasi, Ghana

Sr Glenn Mbah Afungchwi

Mbingo, Cameroon

Dr Trijn Israels

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Coordinator

Members of the Advisory Committee

  • Prof Elizabeth Molyneux – Previously Head of Department of Paediatrics, Blantyre, Malawi
  • Prof Lillian Sung – Toronto, Canada, Chair Scientific Committee SIOP
  • Prof Kathy Pritchard-Jones – London, UK, SIOP President
  • Prof Laila Hessissen – Rabat, Morocco, Continental President SIOP Africa
  • Prof Peter Hesseling – Cape Town, South Africa

Coordinator CANCaRe Africa

Dr Trijn Israels is a paediatric oncologist who worked for several years in Blantyre, Malawi, combining clinical service and locally relevant clinical research projects. Thereafter she served as the Co-Chair of the Committee on Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) and coordinator of the SIOP PODC working group for adapted treatment guidelines, (co)-authoring several pragmatic adapted treatment guidelines for children with common and curable cancers (Wilms tumour, retinoblastoma, Burkitt lymphoma and supportive care) in low- income countries. She is coordinating the Collaborative Wilms Tumour Africa Project / CANCaRe Africa network since 2014.

Results, impact and publications

Our recommendations are built on rigorously researched, local evidence that is assessed for impact. In many areas of childhood cancer reliable local data from sub-Saharan Africa are rare. We then develop local data through collaborative research to help decide on priorities and to evaluate the impact of interventions. The figure on the right represents our cycle of change when identifying a need, developing an intervention and evaluating the outcomes.

Information about the results, impact and publications are found on the respective pages of the Collaborative Wilms Tumour Africa ProjectSUCCOUR and Towards Zero Percent Abandonment.

Working Together to Build a Better Future for Children with Cancer in Africa’ summarises, activities, impact and plans for the future of the CANCaRe Africa group.

Other suggested reading from the CANCaRe Africa group and their work would include:

Participating Centres

Currently nine hospitals in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa are participating in CANCaRe Africa. Other centres are very welcome to join (please contact CANCaReAfrica@gmail.com).

For more information about the participating centres and their multi-disciplinary teams, please have a look at the interactive map and click on the countries.

Currently participating centres and their leaders are:

  • Mbingo, Banso and Mutengene Baptist Convention Hospitals, Cameroon – Dr Francine Kouya
  • Korle Bu Hospital, Accra, Ghana – Prof Lorna Renner
  • Moi Teaching Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya – Dr Festus Njuguna
  • Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi – Dr George Chagaluka
  • Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe – Prof Inam Chitsike
  • Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana – Dr Vivian Paintsil
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Projects

CANCaRe Africa aims to be an inclusive platform for multi-centre clinical research and care.

Currently there are three projects:

  1. The SIOP Africa / PODC Collaborative Wilms Tumour Project
  2. SUCCOUR – Supportive Care for Children with Cancer in Africa
  3. Towards Zero Percent Abandonment

Contact

If you are interested and / or would like to support this initiative – please contact us at cancareafrica@gmail.com

Acknowledgement

We are grateful for the funding from the Sanofi Espoir Foundation (My Child Matters), World Child Cancer and the SIOP Board.