Pediatric Cancer in Northern Tanzania: Evaluation of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcomes.

Journal Article


The majority of new diagnoses of pediatric cancer are made in resource-poor countries, where survival rates range from 5% to 25% compared with 80% in high-resource countries. Multiple factors, including diagnostic and treatment capacities and complex socioeconomic factors, contribute to this variation. This study evaluated the available resources and outcomes for pediatric patients with cancer at the first oncology treatment center in northern Tanzania.


Qualitative interviews were completed from July to August 2015 to determine available staff, hospital, diagnostic, treatment, and supportive care resources. A retrospective review of hospital admissions and clinic visits from January 2010 to August 2014 was completed. A total of 298 patients were identified, and data from 182 patient files were included in this review.


Diagnostic, treatment, and supportive capacities are limited for pediatric cancer care. The most common diagnoses were Burkitt lymphoma (n = 32), other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 26), and Wilms tumor (n = 25). A total of 40% of patients (n = 72) abandoned care. There was a 20% 2-year event-free survival rate, which was significantly affected by patient age, method of diagnosis, and year of diagnosis.


To our knowledge, this is the first review of pediatric cancer outcomes in northern Tanzania. The study identified areas for future development to improve pediatric cancer outcomes, which included strengthening of training and diagnostic capacities, development of registries and research databases, and the need for additional research to reduce treatment abandonment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schroeder, K; Saxton, A; McDade, J; Chao, C; Masalu, N; Chao, C; Wechsler, DS; Likonda, B; Chao, N

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 10

PubMed ID

  • 30241177

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30241177

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2378-9506

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2378-9506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/jgo.2016.009027


  • eng