Landscape of Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa.JCO Glob Oncol. 2020 Jun; 6:932-941.JG
The burden of cancer in Africa is of significant concern for several reasons, including that incidence of cancer in Africa continues to rise while Africa is also dealing with communicable diseases. To combat cancer in Africa, oncology clinical trials are needed to develop innovative interventions for cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of clinical trials in Africa and it is difficult for African clinicians to get information on open oncology clinical trials and impossible for African patients with cancer to access this information. The primary objective of this study was to identify open oncology clinical trials in Africa.
This project was part of a large-scale study to develop an African Virtual Platform for Oncology Clinical Trials Registry. The study was a quantitative, web-based, retrospective review of clinical trials registries.
A total of 109 open oncology clinical trials were identified. Most of the trials were in Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, and Kenya. The top cancer types for oncology clinical trials in Africa were breast, cervical, and lung cancers. The top sponsor of oncology clinical trials in Africa was academic institutions, especially institutions in the United States.
The paucity of clinical trials in Africa will continue to magnify the global disparities of cancer in the African population. Clinical trials are needed to ensure therapeutic interventions are safe and effective in the African population. In the era of personalized and precision health, it no longer suffices to assume that drugs developed in North America, Europe, or Asia will be effective in the African population.