Essential medicines for pediatric oncology in developing countries

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 May;60(5):889-91. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24476. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


The burden of cancer in children in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is substantial, comprising at least 80% of incident cases globally, and an even higher proportion of cancer-related deaths. With survival rates exceeding 80% in high income countries, it is imperative to transfer these successes to LMICs. A major challenge is the poor availability of safe, cost-effective chemotherapy. A list of 51 drugs-chemotherapeutics, infectious disease agents, and supportive care medications-is proposed as essential to improving the survival of children with cancer in LMICs with an additional 13 drugs identified as being of further value.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Developing Countries*
  • Drugs, Essential*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / mortality


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drugs, Essential