Challenges and opportunities to advance pediatric neuro-oncology care in the developing world

Michael H. Chan, Frederick Boop, Ibrahim Qaddoumi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: As the morbidity and mortality associated with communicable diseases continue to decrease in the developing world, the medical burden of childhood cancer continues to expand. Although international aid and relief groups such as the World Health Organization recognize the importance of childhood cancer, their main emphasis is on the more easily treated malignancies, such as leukemias and lymphomas, and not pediatric brain tumors, which are the second most common malignancy in children and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the pediatric population. Addressing the needs of these children is a growing concern of several professional neuro-oncology-related societies. Thus, the goal of this review is to describe the current state of pediatric neuro-oncology care in the developing world, address the current and future needs of the field, and help guide professional societies’ efforts to contribute in a more holistic and multidisciplinary manner. Methods: We reviewed the literature to compare the availability of neuro-oncology care in various regions of the developing world with that in higher income nations, to describe examples of successful initiatives, and to present opportunities to improve care. Results: The current challenges, previous successes, and future opportunities to improve neuro-oncology care are presented. The multidisciplinary nature of neuro-oncology depends on large teams of highly specialized individuals, including neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, palliative care specialists, oncology nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, pediatric intensivists, and social workers, among others. Conclusion: Pediatric neuro-oncology is one of the most complex types of medical care to deliver, as it relies on numerous specialists, subspecialists, support staff, and physical resources and infrastructure. However, with increasing collaboration and advancing technologies, developed nations can help substantially improve neuro-oncology care for children in developing nations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1237
Number of pages11
JournalChild's Nervous System
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2015

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Pediatrics
Neoplasms
Physical Therapists
Child Care
Palliative Care
Developed Countries
Brain Neoplasms
Developing Countries
Communicable Diseases
Lymphoma
Leukemia
Technology
Morbidity
Mortality
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Challenges and opportunities to advance pediatric neuro-oncology care in the developing world. / Chan, Michael H.; Boop, Frederick; Qaddoumi, Ibrahim.

In: Child's Nervous System, Vol. 31, No. 8, 27.08.2015, p. 1227-1237.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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