African breast cancer research and treatment

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Published: 14 Dec 2011
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Prof Olufunmilayo Olopade - University of Chicago, Illinois, USA

The two most common types of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa are inflammatory and triple negative breast cancer. These cancers are particularly aggressive and difficult to treat. Prof Olufunmilayo Olopade talks to ecacer.tv about efforts to increase breast cancer research in Africa and discusses a meeting at AORTIC 2011 helping clinicians learn about the latest treatments approaches. 

AORTIC 2011, Cairo, Egypt 30 November–2 December 2011

 

African breast cancer research and treatment

 

Professor Olufunmilayo Olopade – University of Chicago, Illinois, USA

 

I started today chairing the breast cancer plenary session where we talked about the patterns of breast cancer in Africa. We had a particular focus on inflammatory breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer, the two most common types of breast cancer in Northern Africa and, for that matter, the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. They happen to be the most aggressive and the most challenging to treat and so we had fantastic ideas about how these cancers could be mediated by immune dysfunction. We were particularly excited to learn of some of the latest developments in inflammatory breast cancer.

 

And then I chaired a workshop where we’re really trying to organise the breast cancer interest group, and the idea is that we would be doing more research in Africa. As a professor of medicine, I have had a long-standing research project in Nigeria and we’re deciphering the genetic basis of breast cancer among women of African descent. We have a large collaboration that extends from Nigeria to Cameroon to Uganda to the United States and now we’re developing a project in Brazil as well.