T. Peter Kingham, Olusegun I Alatise
Both infectious and noninfectious related malignancies are a growing problem in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). It is difficult to extrapolate data and guidelines regarding cancer care from high-income countries (HIC) to cancer patients in LMIC. Due to the rise in noncommunicable cancer rates, there is a widening gap between the need for evidence-based treatments for cancer control plans and existing research capabilities. Surgeons frequently provide all surgical and medical oncology treatments for patients in LMIC for diseases, such as breast, gastric, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Surgical oncology clinical and translational research collaborations, however, are lacking. There are several successful consortiums that focus on HIV- and infectious-related malignancies.
These collaborations can be used as an example for future surgical research efforts. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center-Nigerian collaboration that is concentrating on colorectal cancer is used as an example of how to initiate a research collaboration that can build research infrastructure and provide the necessary data to generate realistic treatment guidelines. The need for expanded surgical oncology research and the growing population of patients with noninfectious-related malignancies in LMIC has created a unique opportunity for surgeons to initiate and lead clinical and translational research collaborations between HIC and LMIC.