Building a Population-Based Cancer Registry in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: A Pilot Project to Evaluate Completeness and Validity of Pathologic Data

Investigator: Katherine Van Loon, MD, MPH

Location(s): Tanzania

Parent Project: UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)


Cancer remains an under-recognized health condition throughout most of Africa, and improved surveillance systems for determining cancer incidence, mortality, and prevalence of risk factors are badly needed. HIV and infectious diseases remain prevalent in Africa, with as many as 36 percent of cancers in Africa being infection-related — twice the world average. Increases in HIV-induced immunosuppression have resulted in an increased risk of many cancers, while economic development and changing exposures to common carcinogens have been associated with increases in the prevalence of cancers of the lung, breast, esophagus, and prostate. Currently, there is widespread uncertainty about the role of various putative risk factors for the development of cancers in Africa, and thus, the most advantageous targets for cancer prevention initiatives are unknown. This pilot study forms part of a larger initiative to rebuild a population-based cancer registry in Tanzania.

Specific Aims

  • Aim #1: To evaluate the completeness of cancer registry data collection utilizing innovative technology for remote data entry of pathologically diagnosed malignancies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Aim #2: To evaluate the validity of pathologic diagnoses of HIV-associated malignancies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.