SIOP Achievements 2021 CANCaRe Africa
Children with common and curable cancers in sub -Saharan Africa will achieve survival rates greater than 60% in line with the vision of the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).
To develop, implement and assess locally appropriate treatment guidelines and to reduce both ‘treatment abandonment’ and death during treatment to <10%.
The Collaborative African Network for Childhood Cancer Care and Research (CANCaRe Africa) is an inclusive and active regional network founded in 2014. 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 Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) launched by the WHO. Our mission is to develop, implement and assess locally appropriate treatment guidelines and to reduce both ‘treatment abandonment’ 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. Our intervention projects follow the principles and rigorous methodology of implementation science.
Please find here * a recently published paper – ‘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.* https://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/GO.20.00170
Members of the Steering Committee
Dr Trijn Israels, Chair
Dr Glenn Mbah Afungchwi, Deputy-Chair
Dr Vivian Paintsil, Member
Members of the Advisory Committee
- For Zero Abandonment from Start to Finish:Prof Elizabeth Molyneux, previously Head of Department of Paediatrics, Blantyre, Malawi
- For SUCCOUR – Supportive Care for Children with Cancer:Prof Lillian Sung, Toronto, Canada, expert supportive care.
- For the Wilms Africa Project:Prof Kathy Pritchard-Jones, London, UK, expert renal tumours.
Chair 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.
Local (Research) Capacity Building for Childhood Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa
CANCaRe Africa has a bottom-up approach. Local leaders are in the best position to decide on priorities and assess the feasibility of interventions and are leading the steering committees of all our projects and programmes. With grants from Foundation S and SIOP PARC we have been able to build local research capacity and hire data managers with dedicated time in all sites participating in CANCaRe Africa. This has hugely improved quality of data management which is essential for our programmes and projects.
We aim for CANCaRe Africa and all related projects to be led by African multi-disciplinary clinicians and researchers with sufficient funding for protected time.
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 below 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 here of the Collaborative Wilms Tumour Africa Project *, SUCCOUR * 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. * https://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/GO.20.00170
Other suggested reading from the CANCaRe Africa group and their work would include:
Israels, T and Molyneux EMM. Paediatric Oncology. Collaborating in Africa – small steps to sustainable success. Nature Reviews Clin Oncol 2014.
Israels, T, Kambugu J, Kouya F et al. Clinical trials to improve childhood cancer care and survival in sub-Saharan Africa Nature Reviews Clin Oncol 2013.
Currently ten hospitals in seven 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|
|Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia||Dr Diriba Fufa|
|College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Gondar, Ethiopia||Dr Mulugeta Ayalew Yimer|
|Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda||Dr Barnabas Atwiine|
Dr Francine Kouya Prof Lorna Renner Dr Festus Njuguna
Dr George Chagaluka Prof Inam Chitsike Dr Vivian Paintsil
Currently CANCaRe Africa has three projects:
We are very grateful for financial support from the SIOP PARC – Programme to Advance Research Capacity in low-income countries and a My Child Matters grant from the Sanofi Espoir Foundation.