Beyond the Western Lens

Problem: More than 86% of the annual 750,000 liver cancer deaths occur in developing countries, but diagnostic and treatment standards are based on older Western patients.

Pascal Pineau, a Pasteur Institute cancer geneticist, and others are calling for standards derived from developing countries, where liver cancer can strike people 4-5 decades earlier than it hits in the West.

In a study of 250 liver cancer patients in Peru, Pineau and colleagues found the average age was 36, and  few had cirrhosis (hardening of liver tissue), common in Western liver cancer patients.” The treatment guidelines might have deemed them incurable even though they were young and didn’t have cirrhosis.


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