The Collaborative Wilms Tumour Africa Project; baseline evaluation of Wilms tumour treatment and outcome in eight institutes in sub-Saharan Africa

Eur J Cancer. 2015 Jan;51(1):84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2014.10.030. Epub 2014 Nov 19.


Aim: Reported survival of Wilms tumour in sub-Saharan Africa is below 50%. A published International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) consensus adapted treatment guideline is implemented as a multi-centre prospective clinical trial at eight centres in sub-Saharan Africa. A baseline evaluation has been done to help decide on priorities to improve outcome and to assess improvements over time.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of patients admitted with Wilms tumour in the three years (2011-2013) preceding the collaborative trial. Patient outcome at the end of treatment was documented for all patients diagnosed in 2011 and 2012. Outcome was classified as (1) alive, no evidence of disease; (2) alive with disease; (3) died during treatment and (4) incomplete treatment. Details on treatment facilities, staff and estimated cost of treatment are documented.

Results: Every year 114-130 patients are diagnosed. The mean survival at end of treatment is 39% (69/176) ranging from 11% to 61%. Incomplete treatment is the most common cause of treatment failure with 31% (54/176), ranging from 14% to 48% between centres. Twenty-six percent (46/176) of patients died during treatment, ranging from 13% to 37%. Estimated cost of treatment for parents ranged from 100 US$ to 1100 US$ and was considered an important cause of failure to complete treatment.

Conclusion: Overall two year survival is estimated at 25%. Prevention of incomplete treatment is possible and will positively affect outcome. Sharing similar local challenges in this regional collaborative project helps to identify and implement feasible, sustainable and successful strategies.

Keywords: Adapted treatment guideline; Africa; Developing country; Low income country; Nephroblastoma; Regional network; Treatment abandonment; Treatment cost; Treatment related mortality; Wilms tumour.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wilms Tumor / drug therapy*
  • Wilms Tumor / economics
  • Wilms Tumor / mortality