Building infrastructure for cancer research in Africa

  • C. M. Zeigler-Johnson
  • S. M. Gueye
  • T. R. Rebbeck
Original Article / Article Original

Abstract

Cancer incidence in Africa is increasing as a result of aging populations, lifestyle changes, and improved detection. However, cancer etiology, prevention, and control in Africa are poorly understood, and survival rates from cancer are among the lowest in the world. Poor cancer survival suggests that improvements in health care, patient education, and relevant research are critically needed. An increase in research infrastructure is required to achieve adequate screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in Africa. While research is a basis for clinical practice and policy changes in resource-abundant areas, the research infrastructure in Africa is deficient in many areas. Building infrastructure for research includes creating supportive environments for research endeavors, securing funding for resources and research personnel, developing training and mentorship opportunities, and building collaborative research with other institutions. Goals for the development of cancer research in Africa may include research on cancer incidence and mortality, cancer etiology and risk factors, clinical research with a focus on early diagnosis/ treatment and palliative care, health economics, and community-based participatory research. An understanding of the environmental and cultural framework by which cancer is diagnosed and managed is critical for developing interventions that will be effective in African populations.

Keywords

Cancer Research infrastructure AORTIC Africa 

Création d’infrastructures pour la recherche sur le cancer en Afrique

Résumé

L’incidence du cancer augmente en Afrique, suite au vieillissement des populations, aux changements de mode de vie et à l’amélioration du dépistage. Toutefois, l’étiologie, la prévention et le contrôle des cancers en Afrique sont mal compris, et les taux de survie sont parmi les plus bas du monde. La faiblesse des taux de survie en cas de cancer montre bien qu’il existe un besoin crucial d’améliorer les soins, l’éducation des patients et les recherches pertinentes. Un accroissement des infrastructures de recherche est nécessaire pour permettre un dépistage, un diagnostic et un traitement corrects des cancers en Afrique. Alors que la recherche est à la base de la pratique clinique et des changements de politique dans les zones abondantes en ressources, les infrastructures de recherche sont déficientes dans de nombreux domaines en Afrique. La mise en place d’infrastructures pour la recherche inclut la création d’environnements favorables aux initiatives de recherche, le financement des moyens matériels et humains, le développement des formations et du mécénat, et l’établissement de liens pour des projets de recherche communs avec d’autres institutions. Parmi les objectifs du développement de la recherche sur le cancer en Afrique, on peut citer la recherche sur l’incidence et les taux de mortalité des cancers, l’étiologie et les facteurs de risque de cancer, la recherche clinique (en insistant sur la précocité du diagnostic/traitement et sur les soins palliatifs), l’économie de la santé et les recherches participatives en médecine de ville. Le facteur crucial pour développer des actions qui seront efficaces dans les populations africaines, c’est de comprendre le cadre environnemental et culturel dans lequel le cancer est diagnostiqué et pris en charge.

Mots clés

Cancer Infrastructures de recherche AORTIC Afrique 

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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag France 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Zeigler-Johnson
    • 1
  • S. M. Gueye
    • 2
  • T. R. Rebbeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Hôpital général de Grand-Yoffuniversité Cheikh-Anta-DiopDakarSénégal

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