Landscape of Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa

Folakemi T. Odedina, Delva Shamley, Ifeoma Okoye, Adaora Ezeani, Ntokozo Ndlovu, Yvonne Dei-Adomakoh, Kimberly Meza, Ruth Agaba, Parisa Fathi, Nissa Askins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE 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. METHODS 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. RESULTS 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. CONCLUSION 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-941
Number of pages10
JournalJCO Global Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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