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Researches and Collaborations


IARC. The official partnership between AFCRN and IARC continues. AFCRN provides the facilities and features of a “Regional Hub” for sub-Saharan Africa, as part of the Global initiative for Cancer Registration (GICR). The capacity of AFCRN to undertake this work is supported through funds received via a contract (APW - Agreement for Performance of Work). Up to August 31st, this included funds provided by The GAVI Alliance (the “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation”), the National Cancer Institute of France (INCa) and a contribution of $23,000 from CDC to IARC. A new contract for 2014/2015, starting on 1st September, was agreed. Dr Parkin has been given the status of an IARC “Senior Visiting Scientist” which enables him to negotiate contracts through IARC.


American Cancer Society (ACS). Following the AFCRN database update, the preparation of monograph ‘Cancer in Africa’, in collaboration with IARC, funded by ACS has begun. An editorial board has been established. The first set of draft tables has been produced, and in undergoing editorial review.

A joint research project STUDY OF BREAST CANCER SIZE & STAGE in AFRICAN CANCER REGISTRIES. The protocol and data collection form were completed, and 10 registries took part: Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Mauritius, Ibadan (Nigeria), PROMEC (SA), Nairobi (Kenya), Registre de Cancer de Guinee, Zimbabwe NCR, Brazzaville (Congo) and Kumasi (Ghana). Data analysis has completed. Responsible researcher Dr Joannie Tieulent at ACS (Atlanta).


AFCRN Database. As agreed at the ARM in Victoria Falls (Jan 2014), the database comprising a listing of case records (anonymous) from each AFCRN member has been updated. Under a Research Agreement with IARC, the latter organisation has agreed to host the database. Contributing to the database is a criteria for membership of AFCRN and all members, except Rwanda and Tanzania cancer registries, have submitted. Access for research studies will be via request to the AFCRN Research Committee. The project is undertaking by Dr Robai Gakunga (contracted to 30th May).



Joint research projects within the context of AFCRN (ie, involving more than one member) have to be submitted to, and approved by the AFCRN Research Committee. Criteria for collaborative studies have been developed (click Here to view)

1. Following the AFCRN database update, the preparation of monograph ‘Cancer in Africa’, in collaboration with IARC, funded by ACS has begun. An editorial board has been established. The first set of draft tables has been produced, and in undergoing editorial review.

2. A questionnaire survey on Use of Data has completed within cancer registry members. This questionnaire covers five areas (background, funding situation, data collection, registry output and use of data in cancer control). To date, all members submitted their questionnaire except Rwanda and Niger cancer registries. A report on the finding will be published. Dr Robai Gakunga is responsible for the task.

3. A model procedure manual, designed for the use of cancer registry in SSA setting, is being developed. The writing group representatives are: Anne Finesse (Seychelles) [chair] in collaboration with Eric Chokunonga (Zimbabwe) and Ntuthu Somdyala (South Africa).

4. Following the success in Nairobi and Eldoret, it was agreed in principal that, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Economic Assessment of the Resources Required to Report High Quality Cancer Registry Data: A Cost Study would be extended to the new cancer registry in Gulu and the long-established Kampala Cancer Registry, Uganda. The aim is to further study the economics of cancer registration in an African context, and to modify for African cancer registries the costing “tool” that has been developed in the US.

5. A study to document the stage at presentation of breast cancer cases in 10 population based registries in sub Saharan Africa was agreed with American Cancer Society (see above). The PI with ACS is Dr Ahmedin Jemal. An interim report was presented at the AORTIC meeting (22 November), and full analysis has been completed.

6. Ongoing studies of survival from 4 cancers (breast, cervix, oesophagus and prostate) in four centres (Blantyre, Harare, Nairobi and Kampala) were extended to include follow up of the cases registered in 2004-2008 through to the end of 2012. Data collection in Blantyre and Kampala been completed; the contract for the work in Harare terminated on 31 March 2014. Mauritius joined the study in February.

7. New study of survival of childhood cancer has been in place since early 2013. It involves follow up of a sample of the most common childhood cancers (150-300 cases in total), for 5-10 years post-diagnosis. This study was provisionally planned for 4 registries: Harare, Kampala, Nairobi and Mauritius, although the latter (Mauritius) has too few cases for valid statistical analysis. Follow up is underway in Harare, and started in Kampala and Nairobi early in 2014.

8. Data analysis on oesophageal cancer from East Africa, including the results of the survival study, has been completed. The person responsible is Katherine Van Loon (Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco), and the results were presented at AORTIC (22nd November) and submitted for publication.

9. As part of their MoU agreements, several registries are scheduled to produce complete reports of their work, for periods of 1-4 years, in the format of the AFCRN Model, developed in 2012. The triennial report for the Seychelles Cancer Registry (2009-11), the Nairobi Cancer Registry (2004-2008), the Eastern Cape Province Cancer Registry (2003-2007), and the Registre des Cancers de Brazzaville (2010-2013) were published. That of Mauritius is in final preparation. The registries of Blantyre (Malawi) and Calabar (Nigeria) are also planning to do so in 2015.

10. A proposal to study Expression of Hormone Receptors in West, East and Southern Africa - Breast Cancer Biology in Africa was approved by the Network’s Research Committee. It is funded by Martin Luther-Universität Halle, Germany and managed by Dr Eva Kantelhardt. Several AFCRN members, including Beira, Blantyre, Calabar, Conakry, Kampala, Kumasi, Niamey & Abuja, as well as other pathologists, have agreed to take part, and will each receive a small AFCRN contract to cover their expenses. The study has been completed in Ibadan, Mauritius and RD Congo.

11. A five year (2015-19) collaborative research proposal on African Female Reproductive Organ Cancers in the Context of Emerging NCD’s Networking for Evidence: Universal Access to Cancer Care – AFROCaNN was submitted for funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, and was selected for a final round of evaluation. The role of AFCRN was discussed at the 2014 ARM (23rd January 2014), and clarified at a meeting in Germany in March 2014. The proposal is being finalised. The leading researcher is Dr Eva Kantelhardt from Martin Luther-Universität Halle, Germany.