Pediatric solid tumors in Africa: different biology?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To review the recent literature regarding biologic characteristics of pediatric solid tumors in African children.

Recent findings

Data regarding pediatric solid tumors in Africa, while increasing, remain sparse when considering the ethnic and geographic diversity of the continent. Recent work, especially regarding nephroblastoma in Kenya, has identified some biologic variability among local tribes but also when compared with North American tumors. In general, reports from across the continent reveal markedly poorer survival for pediatric patients with solid tumors when compared with high-resourced regions.

Summary

Multiple resource-related and infrastructure-related challenges contribute to poorer outcomes, and these require systematic, multidisciplinary, and structured solutions. Socioeconomic factors and limited access to care currently seem to drive the survival outcomes in children with solid cancers in Africa.

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