A Partnership for Training and Mentoring of Cancer Researchers in Tanzania

Investigator: Katherine Van Loon, MD, MPH
Sponsor: CRDF Global

Location(s): Tanzania


Africa is facing an unprecedented growth in cancer burden and is inadequately prepared to meet this public health challenge. While HIV, TB, and malaria have dominated the global health agenda for the past few decades, over one million people are projected to die of cancer in Africa by 2020. Tanzania estimates that it sees approximately 44,000 new cancer patients per year. Currently, demands for cancer care at the national referral center, Ocean Road Cancer Institute, far exceed available services, and the number of new cases are steadily increasing. The most common cancers in sub-Saharan Africa are also some of the most treatable, including breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. However, most patients present with cancers at very advanced stage due to a variety of issues including low cancer awareness, stigma, and challenges with access to care. Cancer prevention, early detection, and palliative care services in Tanzania are not well developed.

Muhimbili National Hospital and UCSF have a longstanding collaborative partnership that started in 2005. UCSF's Global Cancer Program has continued that work, with a growing list of activities.