The African Esophageal Cancer Consortium: A Call to Action.

  • Van Loon K, Mwachiro MM, Abnet CC, Akoko L, Assefa M, Burgert SL, Chasimpha S, Dzamalala C, Fleischer DE, Gopal S, Iyer PG, Kaimila B, Kayamba V, Kelly P, Leon ME, Mathew CG, Menya D, Middleton D, Mlombe Y, Mmbaga BT, Mmbaga E, Mulima G, Murphy G, Mushi B, Mwanga A, Mwasamwaja A, Parker MI, Pritchett N, Schüz J, Topazian MD, White RE, McCormack V, Dawsey SM. The African Esophageal Cancer Consortium: A Call to Action. Journal of global oncology. 2018 Dec;4(4). 1-9. PMID: 30241229 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC6223465


Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide and the sixth most common cause of cancer-related death; however, worldwide incidence and mortality rates do not reflect the geographic variations in the occurrence of this disease. In recent years, increased attention has been focused on the high incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) throughout the eastern corridor of Africa, extending from Ethiopia to South Africa. Nascent investigations are underway at a number of sites throughout the region in an effort to improve our understanding of the etiology behind the high incidence of ESCC in this region. In 2017, these sites established the African Esophageal Cancer Consortium. Here, we summarize the priorities of this newly established consortium: to implement coordinated multisite investigations into etiology and identify targets for primary prevention; to address the impact of the clinical burden of ESCC via capacity building and shared resources in treatment and palliative care; and to heighten awareness of ESCC among physicians, at-risk populations, policy makers, and funding agencies.