Adverse effects of chemotherapy and their management in paediatric patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Kenya: a descriptive, situation analysis study

Linda Opanga, Mercy N. Mulaku, Sylvia A. Opanga, Brian Godman, Amanj Kurdi

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Background: Chemotherapy-related side effects and their management in patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) are not well defined in developing countries, including Kenya. This needs addressing considering the high number of patients with cancer in these countries. Consequently, we sought to determine the common side effects of chemotherapy used to treat NHL in pediatric patients and its implications. Methods: Observational study conducted at the Kenyatta National Hospital in patients aged ≤15 years. Some data was collected by reviewing patients’ records admitted to the pediatric oncology ward, December 2016 to May 2017; and additional data was collected retrospectively (review of patients’ records with NHL, January-2014 to May-2017). Data were analyzed descriptively. Results: Overall, out of the identified NHL patients (n = 85), 93% (n = 79) had chemotherapy-related side effects. The majority of patients suffered from side effects were managed; apart from 23% to 24% of the documented anemia and hypersensitivity, respectively. Conclusions: Whilst the majority of the reported side-effects were being managed, the lack of management of some side effects raises real concerns since this indicates either failure to manage or failure to document their management in patients’ records, both of which should be addressed appropriately to improve future care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number5
Early online date26 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019


  • chemotherapy
  • side effects
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • developing countries
  • Kenya

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