Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma has a very peculiar geographical distribution worldwide. Within Africa, the highest incidence areas lie along an easterly corridor, which includes the countries of Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as the eastern parts of South Africa. In the hope of informing future primary prevention efforts, the ESCCAPE consortium aims to conduct studies to shed light on the etiological epidemiology of oesophageal cancer in this setting, and in particular of the most common histological subtype, oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
The Oesophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma African Prevention research (ESCCAPE) is a collaborative research effort to investigate the etiological epidemiology of squamous cell carcinoma in Africa. This cancer ranks amongst the three most common cancers in several countries in East Africa and in the eastern parts of South Africa, but intriguingly it is extremely rare in West Africa. Its prognosis is poor; thus, if modifiable factors are responsible for the disproportionately high incidence rates of this cancer in East Africa, identifying them may inform primary prevention efforts.