Internal Medicine (East Africa); Pathology (East Africa)
Promoting best practice in the management of a cancer patient is rooted in the application of new knowledge derived through various sources including population science, laboratory advances, and translational research. Ultimately, the impact of these advances depends on their application at the patient’s bedside. A close collaboration between the oncologist and the pathologist is critical in underwriting progress in the management of the cancer patient. Recent advancements have shown that more granular characteristics of the tumor and themicroenvironment are defining determinants when it comes to disease course and overall outcome. Whereas, histologic features and basic immunohistochemical characterization were previously adequate to define the tumor and establish treatment recommendation, the growing capability of the pathologist to provide molecular characterization of the tumor and its microenvironment, as well as, the availability of novel therapeutic agents have revolutionized cancer treatment paradigms and improved patient-outcomes and survival. While such capacity and capability appear readily available in most developed high-income countries (HIC), it will take a concerted and collaborative effort of all stakeholders to pave the way in the same stride in the low and middle-income countries (LMIC), which bear a disproportionate burden of human illness and cancers. Patients in the LMIC present with disease at advanced stage and often display characteristics unlike those encountered in the developed world. To keep stride and avoid the disenfranchisement of patients in the LMIC will require greater participation of LMIC patients on the global clinical trial platform, and a more equitable and affordable sharing of diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities between the developed and developing world. Key to the success of this progress and improvement of patient outcomes in the developing world is the close collaboration between the oncologist and the pathologist in this new era of precision and personalized medicine.
Frontiers in Medicine
(2022). Promoting Best Practice in Cancer Care in Sub Saharan Africa. Frontiers in Medicine, 9(950309), 1-7.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_intern_med/284
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