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Hutchinson Center breaks ground for first collaborative cancer center in sub-Saharan Africa
Date:10/11/2011

ospitals Abroad program and a $900,000 investment from the Hutchinson Center.

The Hutchinson Center's relationship with the Uganda Cancer Institute dates back to 2004 and the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance was established formally in 2008. The program builds on the Hutchinson Center's innovative research approach, which is to draw data from a setting where the disease burden is exceptionally high, while reinforcing the organization's commitment to reduce cancer-related suffering and death.

In 2008, Uganda had just one oncologist who treated more than 10,000 patients annually. In response, the Hutchinson Center spearheaded an extensive medical training program that has increased the number of practicing oncologists in Uganda fivefold.

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. Kaposi sarcoma is the most common cancer in adult Ugandan men; human herpesvirus 8, also a cause of Kaposi sarcoma, is the most common cancer-related infection in women. According to UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance researchers, nearly 75 percent of these cases can be treated for less than $800.

Ugandan children are also vulnerable to infection-related malignancies that are not HIV-associated. "Cancer, especially childhood cancer, is a growing threat to Uganda's next generation and must be addressed with equal vigor as HIV/AIDS," stated Jackson Orem, M.D., director of the Uganda Cancer Institute and co-scientific director of the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance.

Burkitt lymphoma, both potentially fatal and disfiguring, is the most common cancer diagnosis among Ugandan children and is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Burkitt lymphoma has particular connections with Uganda; it fi
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Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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