Advancing breast cancer treatment in Uganda by improving molecular testing

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Published: 8 Jun 2023
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Dr Jackson Orem - Uganda Cancer Institute, Kampala, Uganda

Dr Jackson Orem speaks to ecancer at ASCO 2023 about a study which looked at the molecular nature of breast cancer in Ugandan women and intents to improve treatment.

He explains that researchers aim to use the genetic makeup of patients to improve treatment and also to introduce diagnostic methodologies that can be used in the African setting.

The study really was focussing on breast cancer, looking at the molecular profile of types of disease that we have in Uganda and maybe by implication also what is pertaining in the African population. Secondly, also, we wanted to use this as a platform for coming up with some diagnostic methods which can be used in low and middle income countries, in other words in places where resources are constrained.

We did this in multiple stages. We started by identifying the patients and then coming up with a profile of those patients as they come. Then secondly we made them be divided into categories which actually are like a trial of some sort.

How could these findings impact the future treatment of breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa?

First, we are going to understand what are the characteristics, the genetic make-up, of the patients that we have in our population. Then how can we use this to improve treatment or outcomes for these patients? Then, thirdly, how can we use these as a method for coming up with diagnostic methodologies that can be used in a setting like what we have in Africa.

I want just to thank you for amplifying this and using the platform of ecancer as a method of trying to get this message across the world and, in particular, in Africa. I think that is really great.