In the past 5 years, multiple workshops and symposia have been held. The basic management of common pediatric cancers, including supportive care and palliative care has been the focus of several of the workshops and symposia that have been held. An introduction to clinical trials has also been a topic at some of the workshops and symposia. These workshops and symposia have been held in Tanzania, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Cyprus, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Several of these have been supported by the Office of International Affairs of the NCI.
The program formed a partnership with APPNA in 2007 in order to promote palliative care in Pakistan. Through this partnership, palliative care has been introduced into the medical school curriculum in Pakistan.
INCTR is represented on the Palliative Care Steering Committee of MECC. Site visits have been conducted in order to do palliative care needs assessments of selected centers in MECC countries and training of health care professionals in palliative care who work at these centers has been undertaken. Broader strategic plans to improve pediatric palliative care services in MECC countries have been developed.
Together with pediatric oncologists from institutions in low and middle income countries representing Mexico, Brazil, Tanzania, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Turkey, India and Pakistan, the program has prepared a draft of a Pediatric Supportive Care Handbook that contains essential guidelines for the common complications related to cancer treatment. The handbook includes both basic and optimal guidelines for the management of complications such that they can be applied in almost any setting providing cancer care. Special attention is given to the problems encountered in different developing countries such as helminthic infections, malnutrition, anemia, co-existing morbidities such as HIV infection and malaria. It is anticipated that the handbook will be completed in late 2010.