PURPOSE: Radiotherapy (RT) is an essential component of cancer treatment. There is a lack of RT services in sub-Saharan Africa as well as limited knowledge regarding clinical practices. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the patterns for RT treatment in Ethiopia. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 1,823 patients treated with cobalt RT at a large referral hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from May 2015 through January 2018. Paper charts were reviewed for patient and treatment characteristics. Descriptive statistics were computed using SPSS (IBM, Armonk, NY). RESULTS: Among patients treated for cancer, 98% (n = 1,784) were adults, 78% (n = 1,426) were female, 5% (n = 85) were HIV positive, 30% (n = 555) were from Addis Ababa, and the median age was 48 years (interquartile range [IQR], 38-58 years). Cervical cancer was the most frequent cancer treated (47%, n = 851), followed by breast cancer (15%, n = 274) and head and neck cancer (10%, n = 184). Seventy-three percent of patients (n = 1,339) presented at a late stage, and 62% (n = 1,138) received palliative RT. The wait times were the shortest for patients receiving palliative treatment (median, 0 days; IQR, 0-15 days; n = 1,138), whereas wait times were longer for patients receiving curative treatment (median, 150 days; IQR, 60-210 days; n = 685). Three percent of patients (n = 56) had documented grade 3 or 4 acute toxicity; of these, 59% (n = 33) were patients with head and neck cancer. CONCLUSION: Cervical cancer accounted for half of patients treated; thus, a majority of patients were adult females. Most patients had advanced-stage cancer, and goals of care were palliative. Wait times were long for patients with curative-intent cancer as a result of low capacity for RT services.

doi.org/10.1200/JGO.19.00129, hdl.handle.net/1765/122775
Journal of global oncology
Department of Radiation Oncology

Rick, T., Habtamu, B. (Biruk), Tigeneh, W. (Wondemagegnhu), Abreha, A. (Aynalem), van Norden, Y., Grover, S. (Surbhi), … Incrocci, L. (2019). Patterns of Care of Cancers and Radiotherapy in Ethiopia. Journal of global oncology, 5, 1–8. doi:10.1200/JGO.19.00129