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Med Trop (Mars). 2007 Oct;67(5):497-504.

[Treatment of childhood cancer in Africa. Action of the Franco-African childhood cancer group].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1GFAOP, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.


The childhood cancer survival rate is currently 75% in industrialized countries. Rates in developing countries are much lower. The Franco-African Childhood Cancer Group (French acronym, GFAOP) was founded in 2000 with aim of reducing this unfavorable situation in Africa. The GFAOP has developed two forms of action. The main form consists of organizing two- to twelve-month training sessions for physicians and nurses in France and Morocco. The other form involves assessing the feasibility of modern treatment protocols for various cancers in Africa. The first feasibility trials were carried out on nephroblastoma and Burkitt's lymphoma in 12 pilot units in North Africa, West Africa, and Madagascar. In the first study from 2001 to 2005 we treated 306 cases of Burkitt's lymphoma using French LMB protocols adapted to the African setting and achieved a survival rate of 61%. A second study started in 2005 using Endoxan alone achieved a highly satisfactory survival rate of 73% for neuroblastoma in all stages except bilateral. Altogether from 2001 to 2007 more than 1000 cases of nephroblastoma and Burkitt's lymphoma were treated in African hospitals by African doctors and nurses. No patients were transferred to Europe. The GFAOP supplied drugs when necessary and took care of most travel expenses. African and French doctors worked together on protocol design, trial management, and data analysis. These promising results show that the latest therapeutic techniques can be used to treat childhood cancer in Africa by adapting the protocol to conditions in developing countries. Sanofi-Aventis Laboratories in association with the International Union against Cancer has launched a major campaign to improve Pediatric Oncology in developing countries. Projects in four GFAOP units are being financed through this campaign. In 2006 the GFAOP began assessment of two new treatment protocols, i.e., one for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the other for Hodgkin's disease. Two other projects are being planned, i.e., one for treatment of retinoblastoma and the other for treatment of some types of brain tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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