The problem of treatment abandonment in children from developing countries with cancer


  • Ramandeep Singh Arora and Barry Pizer do not have conflict of interest to declare. Tim Eden is President of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology and is on the Outreach Advisory Board of St. Jude Research Hospital, Memphis.

  • Ramandeep Singh Arora is a Specialist Registrar, Pediatrics; Tim Eden is a Professor of Teenage and Young Adult Cancer; and Barry Pizer is a Consultant Pediatric Oncologist.



There is an inequality gap between the outcome of childhood cancer in resource, rich and limited countries. Abandonment of treatment is one of the reasons for this.


We searched the medical literature for evidence on abandonment, its causes, and any preventative interventions.


Abandonment is a very real problem all across the developing world. Cancers associated with poorer prognosis seem to have higher abandonment rates. It is also related to the socio-economic and educational status of parents, travel time to treatment centers, and affordable, locally available treatment.


Twinning between institutions, which includes several preventative interventions, has clearly been shown to work. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;49:941–946. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.