Identifying barriers to treatment of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma in resource-limited settings: A literature review

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2019 Jul;66(7):e27708. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27708. Epub 2019 Mar 25.


We performed a literature review to examine barriers for rhabdomyosarcoma treatment in low-resource settings, and identified 29 articles from 14 middle-income countries, with none from low-income countries. Notable findings included inconsistent use of local control modalities, lack of diagnostics in some settings, and high rate of abandonment specifically in low middle-income countries. Reported limitations included lack of surgical expertise and/or radiation therapy, advanced stage of disease, and absence of health insurance. Although very poor outcomes were prevalent in several settings, good outcomes were achievable in others when multidisciplinary therapy and financial coverage of medical care were made available.

Keywords: LMIC; UMIC; childhood rhabdomyosarcoma; outcomes; resource-limited setting.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma* / economics
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma* / therapy