alexa The challenge of nephroblastoma in a developing country.


Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology

Author(s): Ekenze SO, AguguaObianyo NE, Odetunde OA

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Advances in paediatric oncology has tremendously improved the outcome in children with nephroblastoma. In most developing countries, however, the survival rate is still very low. OBJECTIVE: To study the outcome and the impediments to the management of nephroblastoma in Southeast Nigeria. METHODS: Analysis of 42 children managed for nephroblastoma over a 10-year period (January 1995-December 2004) at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria is made. Diagnosis was based on clinical, radiologic and histologic evaluation. RESULTS: The peak age incidence was 2-5 years with a male:female ratio of 1.1:1. Abdominal mass was the main presentation in all the children. Treatment consisted of nephroureterectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy with Vincristine, Actinomycin D and Cyclophosphamide. Adriamycin was added for metastatic disease. Twenty-two children (52.3\%) had stage III disease, 13 (31.0\%) had stage IV, while the remaining seven (16.7\%) children had stage II. Stage I disease was not encountered. Seven children had inoperable tumor requiring pre-operative chemotherapy. While 25 children were available for evaluation, 17 were lost to follow up. Four children died of complications of treatment, while 11 relapsed with poor outcome. With a mean follow up of 21 months, the 5-year survival rate is 40\%. CONCLUSION: Morbidity and mortality with nephroblastoma is high in our environment. Late presentation, poverty, ignorance and poor compliance to treatment constitute a great challenge to the paediatric oncologist in a developing country. Solutions may lie in improving health funding and health information in the health care delivery system. Free health care for children with malignancy is advocated. Collaboration with institutions in the privileged parts of the world may help. This article was published in Ann Oncol and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology

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