发展中世界的癌症治疗

波士顿—四十多年前,美国总统尼克松宣布“向癌症开战”。让他感到欢欣鼓舞以至于做出这一决定的是化疗能够治愈急性淋巴细胞白血病和何杰金氏淋巴瘤的该疾病的令人鼓舞的早期结果。自此以后,在使用化疗、手术和放疗治疗和治愈越来越多癌症患者方面取得了稳步进展。但中低收入国家仍难以接触到这些救命进步,而当今世界大部分癌症患者都在中低收入国家。

在美国,80%以上的乳腺癌患者都能长期生存,80%以上的癌症儿童可以存活。我在哈佛大学做了近40年肿瘤专家,医治过数千名患者,如果不是化疗,他们生存机会渺茫。许多患者在20世纪70年代开始接受治疗,至今仍活得好好的;他们的孩子们现在已长大成人并有生育能力。

但直到2011年我开始在卢旺达工作才充分认识到我手中的工具的力量,因为我目睹了没有它们所带来的影响。进入基加利公立中心医院儿科癌症病房就像进入了时间旅行。罹患维尔姆斯瘤(Wilms’ tumor,成年人很少得的肾癌)的卢旺达儿童的最后结局如同80年前的美国,而如今,药物可以让90%的确诊美国儿童病患存活下来。

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