Sub-Saharan African (SSA) neuro-oncologists report high workloads and challenges in delivering evidence-based care; however, these reports contrast with modeled estimates of adult neuro-oncology disease burden in the region. This scoping review aimed to better understand the reasons for this discrepancy by mapping out the SSA adult brain tumor landscape based on published literature.
Systematic searches were conducted in OVID Medline, Global Index Medicus, African Journals Online, Google Scholar, and faculty of medicine libraries from database inception to May 31 st, 2021. The results were summarized quantitatively and narratively. English and French peer-reviewed articles were included (title, abstract, and full text).
Of the 819 records identified, 119 articles by 24 SSA countries (42.9%) were included in the final review. Odeku published the first article in 1967, and nine of the ten most prolific years were in the 21 st century. The greatest contributing region was Western Africa (n=58, 48.7%) led by Nigeria (n=37, 31.1%). Central Africa had fewer articles published later than the other SSA regions (p=0.61). Most studies were non-randomized (n=75, 63.0%) and meningiomas (n=50, 42.0%) were the most common brain tumors reported. Less than 30 studies reported on adjuvant treatment or patient outcomes.
Most publications were hospital-based, and there was significant heterogeneity in the quality of evidence and reporting. This study highlights the need for rapid and sustainable investments and brain tumor research capacity in SSA.

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