In the United States, 500-600 children are diagnosed with Wilms tumor annually. The disease accounts for about 5% of all childhood cancers and is the most common kind of kidney cancer in children. In high-income countries like the United States, the 5-year survival rate for low-grade Wilms tumor is around 90%, which means it is widely perceived as a “curable” tumor. Unfortunately, “curable” is not a concept that crosses international boundaries. In low- and middle-income countries, like many in Africa, the survival rate can be very, very low. 

So how do we improve cure rates for a treatable tumor? 

In this episode, Dr. Festus Njuguna and Dr. Trjn Israels discuss their collaborative multi-center Wilms tumor project that aims to increase the survival rate and decrease treatment abandonment of pediatric Wilms tumor patients in Africa. This collaborative brings together medical providers from treatment centers in Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon,  and Zimbabwe to discuss how to implement the SIOP PODC Adapted Treatment Guidelines for Wilms Tumor at each center. Their results, so far, have been impressive. After 4 years of the collaborative, survival has risen from 52% to 69% and treatment abandonment has decreased from 23% to 12%! The project is now aiming to further reduce treatment abandonment and reduce death during treatment by improving support care. 

One of the important things this project needs is financial support.  If you are interested, you can reach out to Dr. Njuguna or Dr. Israels for more information on how you can help to improve the lives of pediatric Wilms tumor patients in Africa. Details are posted below.

Dr. Trjn Israels :  t.israels-3@prinsesmaximacentrum.nl

Dr. Festus Njuguna:  muigaifes2000@yahoo.com

The Collaborative Wilms Tumour Project: https://siop-online.org/collaborative-wilms-tumour-africa-project/

Learn more about Wilms Tumour Project here: https://www.worldchildcancer.us/what-we-do/where-we-work/wilms-tumor-africa-collaboration

Read their recent paper highlighting their results here: 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pbc.26945

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