Mentor and Career Development Core Kenya is not well prepared to handle the expected increase in the number of women seeking cervical cancer screening and treatment, even with a plateau in the incidence of HIV. This gap will potentially grow even wider without an increase in training and mentoring of Kenyan scientists focusing on cancer research. A structured approach to clinical training began with cervical cancer screening in Eldoret five years ago when Dr. Hilliary Mabeya and Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin with a Fogarty grant initiated a cervical cancer screening study of 150 women, to compare VIA to Pap smears, to HPV testing. At the completion of this study a proposal was accepted by Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) to continue cervix cancer screening through the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) in western Kenya. This approach to screening and prevention required a focused education, training and mentoring program of physicians, nurses and research assistants. It has also required collaboration and integration with pathology faculty and technologists. We have made significant improvements in this area and are uniquely poised to extend the human and structural capacity established to address questions regarding cancer prevention, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of screening algorithms in this setting, and quality of care. Thus the mentorship core will provide an opportunity to offer research training in wide range of disciplines. We have chosen to focus on training doctors, nurses and scientists to earn their Master's degree from Moi University. We will accomplish this by selecting research projects within the Projects and Cores described in this proposal and pairing selected students with Kenyan and North American mentors. This grant will allow us to expand our research initiatives and to make comparisons between HIV infected and HIV uninfected women which will help us better understand the impact of HIV on cervix cancer. It will also directly address the sustainability of translational cancer research by training future Kenyan scientists.
More women die from cervix cancer than any other cancer in Kenya. The incidence of cervix cancer has increased as a result of the HIV epidemic yet there is little data in Kenya to know how large the effect has been. This gap will potentially grow even wider without an increase in training and mentoring of more Kenyan scientists focusing on cancer research.