NIH Research Festival
Esophageal cancer is the 6th leading cause of cancer death. It kills 400,000 people every year, most of whom live in distinct geographic bands across central Asia and along the eastern coast of Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. In these high-risk areas, nearly all cases are esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Our group and others have performed multiple studies of ESCC in Asia, but African ESCC remains essentially unstudied. Several groups have recently begun quality studies of ESCC in Africa, including case-control studies in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (UCSF and Muhimbili University); Eldoret, Kenya (IARC and Moi University); Moshi, Tanzania (IARC and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center); Bomet, Kenya (NCI and Tenwek Hospital); and Lilongwe, Malawi (NCI and the UNC-Malawi Project). And the first quality genomic study (WES and RNAseq of 59 tumors) was recently published by the NCI-Malawi group. In September 2016, these groups formally established the African Esophageal Cancer Consortium (AfrECC), to raise awareness (both in Africa and elsewhere) of the importance of this disease in Africa, to coordinate etiologic and molecular studies of ESCC, and to build capacity for early detection, treatment and palliation of this cancer. Initial activities have included (i) standardizing questionnaires for new case-control studies; (ii) developing an mHealth phone/tablet app to record all data, to increase efficiency, eliminate transcription mistakes, and allow real-time QC and supervision of field activities from abroad; (iii) planning coordinated GWAS and genomic studies; and (iv) working with partners in China to provide a sustainable supply of affordable stents to palliate late-stage ESCC.
Scientific Focus Area: Epidemiology
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021