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Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center is announcing a partnership with the Egypt Cancer Network and Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt in an effort to improve childhood cancer survival rates and outcomes within Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa. The organizations are collaborating to create an Egypt-based fellowship training program in pediatric oncology for physicians in those regions.
"Since beginning a twinning program between the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center and the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt in 2006 [a team approach that partners physicians and nurses from the two organizations], we have seen significant improvement in the outcome of pediatric cancer patients in Egypt," said Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, director of medical neuro-oncology at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center and member of the medical advisory board for the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357's pediatric oncology fellowship program. "However, there is still a shortage of expertise and resources needed to treat children with cancer in this region."
According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rate for childhood cancers in the United States is about 80 percent, up from less than 50 percent before 1970. In Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa, the survival rate for childhood cancers is well below the average rate in Western countries. However, as a result of the collaboration between Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center and Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE), the cure rates at CCHE are almost on par with the United States.
"The fellowship is designed to improve the childhood cancer survival rates and outcomes within Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa," said Kieran. "This collaboration will allow the exchange of information, knowledge and experience for both doctors from the region and from the United States, providing the opportunity for the improvement of treatment and care practices."
The collaboration will provide a formal fellowship framework for pediatric oncology training and mentoring for Egyptian, North African and Middle Eastern pediatricians in line with international standards and will create a pool of qualified pediatric oncologists who can ensure continued progress in improving outcomes for children with cancer in this region.
As part of the fellowship, between two and six pediatric physicians from the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt will travel to Boston to work with specialists at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC). In addition, DF/CHCC physicians will rotate at the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt to train oncologists there in the latest treatments and care techniques.