Local Cancer Institute to Be Upgraded
Kampala, Oct 11, 2011 (Menafn - East African Business Week/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) --Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and the US based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) have joined forces to advance research and treatment of infection-related cancers
The UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance involves setting up a research and training institute seeks to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to cancer around the world through research, clinical care improvements and training. When completed, the institute will significantly increase patient access to cancer diagnosis and treatment while furthering study of cancers in Uganda.
"We are developing critical clinical research and training infrastructure," said Jackson Orem, the Director Uganda Cancer Institute during breaking ground on a state-of-the-art, integrated cancer training and treatment facility in Kampala on October 4.
"Building a state-of-the art facility for care, training and research especially focused on infection-related cancer will also support AIDS associated malignancy"
Orem has been at the helm of the UCI, the site of several landmark cancer discoveries, since 2005.
The alliance is ideally positioned to provide American and Ugandan physician scientists with in-depth training in the treatment of infection-related malignancies, which account for nearly 25 percent of cancer cases worldwide and disproportionately impact low-resource settings and countries hit hard by the HIV pandemic.
Reports indicate that HIV and other infectious diseases have increased Uganda's cancer rates, a trend that threatens to undermine the young and productive segment of the nation's population.
"Hutchinson Center researchers hope to uncover new infectious causes of cancer, develop new ways to prevent infection-associated cancers through the development of new vaccines and new ways to treat such cancers with antibiotic or antiviral drugs, avoiding the need for chemotherapy" said Corey Casper, Director Uganda Programme for cancer and infectious diseases.
The Uganda Cancer Institute/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Clinic and Training Institute is funded in part by two grants totaling 1.4 million from the United States Agency for International Development's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program and a 900,000 investment from the Hutchinson Center.
Infections, including HIV, fuel cancer in East Africa and Uganda
EA has among the highest burdens of infection-related cancers worldwide. These cancers include Kaposi sarcoma and Burkitt lymphoma, alongside liver, cervical and gastric malignancies. Uganda, with a population of 34 million, has a very high cancer rate that is fueled largely by the HIV epidemic. More than 1.2 million Ugandans are living with HIV/AIDS.
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, people infected with HIV are several thousand times more likely than uninfected people to be diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma and at least 70 times more likely to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
HIV-positive women are at least five times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus.
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