|Aga Khan University Hospital Partnership|
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is currently partnered with the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on a major collaborative effort in breast cancer.
The project began as an extension of the center's Breast SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) project to look at the genomic characteristic of TNBC tumors in American and African-American patients. Since African patients appear to have a much higher rate of TNBC, researchers postulated that tumors from African patients would provide important clues and insights about genomic markers of aggressive disease. Thus the collaboration with the AKUH was established.
In July 2011, his Highness the Aga Khan and President Kibaki of Kenya opened the Heart and Cancer Center at AKUH-Nairobi, a multi-million dollar project aimed at bringing cutting-edge prevention and therapy to Africa. It will be the biggest program of its kind north of South Africa and south of the Sahara. Click here for video.
The Cancer Center has helped AKUH establish a tissue procurement protocol, and the center has already received its first TNBC tumor specimens for genetic characterization from Africa.
The Cancer Center is internationally recognized for its outreach efforts and is currently conducting programs in Brazil and Zambia in addition to Kenya. Principal investigator of the AKUH partnership at UAB is Mansoor Saleh, M.D., Cancer Center Senior Scientist and Associate Director for Networks, who hopes to establish a formal academic linkage with the AKUH.