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January 7, 2021

The International Collaboration to Save Children With Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Hematology and Oncology, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Medical Center Affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  • 2Departments of Oncology, Global Pediatric Medicine, and Pathology, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee
JAMA Oncol. Published online January 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.6187

Cure of childhood cancer has become a realistic goal in high-income countries with state-of-the-art medical resources. Sadly, cure rates remain low in low-income countries, where only a small fraction of children have access to cancer therapy. What, then, can be accomplished to address this gap in medical progress? We suggest a multilayered strategy, involving 1 or more cancer centers, philanthropists, charitable organizations, and government agencies, that would transcend medical issues to address some of the socioeconomic hardships faced by countries with limited resources. This approach is well exemplified by the collaborative programs established between medical centers and hospitals in China and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 1991, and, in our view, could provide a useful blueprint for saving the lives of thousands of children every year.

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