AFRICA – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of Allied Against Cancer is set to implement 55 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Harmonized Guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa by early 2023.

Allied Against Cancer, is a multi-sector coalition comprised of the African Cancer Coalition (ACC), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

The guidelines will cover more than 90% of cancer incidence in the region, including five pediatric cancer guidelines.

These guidelines, which are an innovative approach by African oncologists and health ministries to optimize the organization and sharing of clinical information, are already adopted by six countries, comprising 43% of the continent’s population.

Through this collaboration, African oncologists can focus on the pragmatic implementation of the project while working alongside partner organizations for coordination and management support

NCCN Harmonized Guidelines use color-coded recommendations for optimal cancer care in high-resource settings alongside pragmatic modifications for effective treatment options in low- and mid-resource settings.

The guidelines are established in collaboration with local health ministries, providers, and advocates, and are based on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines)—a recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management worldwide.

“With approximately 90% of childhood cancers occurring in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), the need for harmonized treatment guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa for this unique population is paramount,” said Dr. Edith Matsikidze, Oncologist at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Zimbabwe and Member of the African Cancer Coalition.

“The collaborations between African experts working together with experts from NCCN will greatly contribute towards standard treatment practices across the African continent. The NCCN Harmonized Guidelines have come at the right time, as we work towards achieving the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) goal of at least a 60% survival rate for childhood cancer in LMICs.

“The implementation of affordable, available, high-impact, and evidence-based interventions—as outlined in these guidelines—is a pragmatic solution that I would recommend for immediate adoption.”

These add to 51 existing NCCN Harmonized Guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa providing best practice cancer treatment recommendations for more than 95% of all adult cancer incidence in the region, including breast, prostate, and cervical cancers.

Treatment Guidelines for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia as well as supportive care guidelines (e.g. adult cancer pain, survivorship, smoking cessation) were published previously.

“Children everywhere should receive the best possible treatment based on the latest evidence and all available resources,” said Jamie Flerlage, MD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma.

“Some children’s cancers, such as Burkitt lymphoma, are more common in Africa than the United States. This initiative allows for a collaborative approach to help pediatric patients, while also learning from expert care providers across the sub-Saharan region.”

NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa first debuted in November of 2017, during the biennial African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) conference in Kigali, Rwanda. They have been officially endorsed in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Treat the Pain program

Allied Against Cancer announce the Treat the Pain program that will train more than 5,000 health workers in Africa to safely use opioids to treat cancer patients in pain. Allied Against Cancer will provide technical support to improve patient access to necessary analgesics, with a focus on low and middle-income countries with high unmet need for pain relief.

High-quality medicines in Africa from CAP

The Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) from Allied Against Cancer will offer 30 high-quality medicines at access prices to 25 countries in Africa starting in early 2023.

Allied Against Cancer hosts the CAP program with pharmaceutical companies including Biocon Biologics, Novartis, Pfizer, to offer world-class medications, including key targeted therapies in oncology, at affordable prices to treatment centers across sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, Allied Against Cancer works with those who purchase medications to accurately plan and budget for their procurement, based on best-practice guidelines.

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