International variations in childhood cancer in indigenous populations: A systematic review

The Lancet Oncology (Impact Factor: 24.69). 02/2014; 15(2):e90-e103. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70553-9
Source: PubMed


Although the cancer burden in indigenous children has been reported in some countries, up to now, no international comparison has been made. We therefore aimed to assess the available evidence of the burden of childhood cancer in indigenous populations. We did a systematic review of reports on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival in indigenous children worldwide. Our findings highlight the paucity of accessible information and advocate the pressing need for data by indigenous status in countries where population-based cancer registries are established. The true extent of disparities between the burden in the indigenous community needs to be measured so that targeted programmes for cancer control can be planned and implemented.

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    ABSTRACT: Advances in the treatment of childhood cancers have resulted in part from the development of national and international collaborative initiatives that have defined biologic determinants and generated risk-adapted therapies that maximize cure while minimizing acute and long-term effects. Currently, more than 80% of children with cancer who are treated with modern multidisciplinary treatments in developed countries are cured; however, of the approximately 160,000 children and adolescents who are diagnosed with cancer every year worldwide, 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where access to quality care is limited and chances of cure are low. In addition, the disease burden is not fully known because of the lack of population-based cancer registries in low-resource countries. Regional and ethnic variations in the incidence of the different childhood cancers suggest unique interactions between genetic and environmental factors that could provide opportunities for etiologic research. Regional collaborative initiatives have been developed in Central and South America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania. These initiatives integrate regional capacity building, education of health care providers, implementation of intensity-graduated treatments, and establishment of research programs that are adjusted to local capacity and local needs. Together, the existing consortia and regional networks operating in LMICs have the potential to reach out to almost 60% of all children with cancer worldwide. In summary, childhood cancer burden has been shifted toward LMICs and, for that reason, global initiatives directed at pediatric cancer care and control are needed. Regional networks aiming to build capacity while incorporating research on epidemiology, health services, and outcomes should be supported. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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