Toward optimization of cancer care in sub-saharan Africa: Development of national comprehensive cancer network harmonized guidelines for sub-saharan Africa

African Cancer Coalition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE Standard treatment guidelines improve patient outcomes, including disease-specific survival, in cancer care. The African Cancer Coalition was formed in 2016 to harmonize cancer treatment guidelines for sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS The African Cancer Coalition collaborated with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Cancer Society to harmonize 46 cancer treatment guidelines for use in sub-Saharan Africa. Harmonization for each guideline was completed by a group of approximately 6-10 African cancer experts from a range of specialties and with representation across resource levels. Each working group was chaired by an African oncologist and included a member of the appropriate NCCN guidelines panel. Treatment recommendations from the parent guidelines were distinguished as options that are generally available and should be considered standard care in most of the region or as highly advanced options for which cost or other resources may limit widespread availability. Additional recommendations specific to sub-Saharan Africa were added. RESULTS The NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for sub-Saharan Africa, available for download on the NCCN website and mobile application, provide flexible recommendations appropriate for the range of resources seen in African cancer programs, from private comprehensive cancer centers to resource-constrained public hospitals. IBM (Armonk, NY) has developed a digital interface-the Cancer Guidelines Navigator-that allows oncologists to access the treatment recommendations for the first five guidelines through an interactive web-based application. CONCLUSION Harmonized guidelines that reflect the diversity of resource levels that characterize the current state of clinical care for cancer in Africa have the potential to fill a crucial gap in efforts to standardize and improve cancer care in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1418
Number of pages7
JournalJCO Global Oncology
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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