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Large US-Uganda breast cancer project takes off

A Seattle-based research centre is partnering with Makerere University in Uganda in a bid to improve breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa.

The pair—the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in the United States and Makerere’s Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala—will test whether a diagnostic tool known as RT-PCR that is already widely used in HIV testing in Africa can be used to perform tumour tests to inform breast cancer treatment.

The study will enrol 100 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer whose tumours will be studied by RT-PCR at the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre lab in Kampala. The samples will then be shipped to labs in Seattle in the US and tested there. The two results will be compared to see whether the RT-PCR can be used as a substitute for more expensive methods.

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