The problem of treatment abandonment in children from developing countries with cancer

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2007 Dec;49(7):941-6. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21127.


Background: There is an inequality gap between the outcome of childhood cancer in resource, rich and limited countries. Abandonment of treatment is one of the reasons for this.

Procedure: We searched the medical literature for evidence on abandonment, its causes, and any preventative interventions.

Results: Abandonment is a very real problem all across the developing world. Cancers associated with poorer prognosis seem to have higher abandonment rates. It is also related to the socio-economic and educational status of parents, travel time to treatment centers, and affordable, locally available treatment.

Conclusions: Twinning between institutions, which includes several preventative interventions, has clearly been shown to work.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Continuity of Patient Care / economics
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Developing Countries* / economics
  • Developing Countries* / statistics & numerical data
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Neoplasms / economics
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Poverty
  • Prognosis
  • Refusal to Treat / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Withholding Treatment* / statistics & numerical data