Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers affecting women worldwide. The main objective of this study was to assess and compare research activity in breast cancer in Arab countries with non-Arab Middle Eastern countries.
Publications about “breast cancer” as a research topic were retrieved using the ISI Web of Science database. Analysis was confined to original research and review articles. Research productivity was assessed by assessing number of publications and time trend of these publications, names of journals, citation analysis, top 10 active institutions as well as country contribution to breast cancer research. The quantity and quality of publications from Arab countries in addition to 3 other Middle East countries (Turkey, Iran and Israel) were assessed and compared using the h-index tool.
A total of 1658 original research and review articles about “breast cancer” were published from Arab countries. Annual research productivity from Arab countries in the field of “breast cancer” was negligible but showed a significant increase in the last decade. Retrieved documents had relatively high citation parameters as measured by h-index of 61 and average citations of 17.46 per document. The highest research productivity was from Egypt with a total publication of 582 (35.10%). Cairo University with a total of 149 (8.99%) publications had the highest research productivity among institutions in Arab world. Forty four documents (2.65%) of breast cancer documents were published in Saudi Medical Journal. Arab researchers collaborated mostly with researchers from the United States of America (305; 18.40%) in breast cancer research. Compared with other non-Arab Middle Eastern countries, Arab countries had higher research productivity than some countries and lower than others, particularly Israel.
The present data reveals a good contribution of some Arab countries to the field of “breast cancer” research. There is a gap between Arab countries and Israel in the quality of breast cancer research.