The proposed Cancer Consortium focuses on the intervention of transmission and infection by two etiologic viral agents of the two most common AIDS-associated cancers, the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated human herpes virus (KSHV) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in Tanzania. The objective of the Consortium is to enhance the three critical components of AIDS malignancies research infrastructure - virology, epidemiology and clinical care - by linking partners with documented strengths in these areas. In addition to deriving critical data on AIDS-associated malignancies, the Consortium will provide diverse training opportunities to increase local expertise and transfer technology. Overall, the partnership will ultimately lead to exchanges that build the technical and personnel infrastructure necessary to perform the high-quality biomedical, behavioral, and preventative biomedical research desperately needed in Tanzania.
Four specific aims will be pursued: 1) Build the consortium's research capacity through long-term molecular cancer epidemiology training opportunities, with long-term training leading to two PhDs, in epidemiology and in molecular tumor virology, MS degrees in molecular tumor virology, and MPH degrees in cancer epidemiology. 2) Strengthen existing cancer research capacity through short term technical training in the US and in-country workshops targeting researchers, clinicians, and public health personnel. 3) Develop a molecular virology research laboratory component and epidemiology/biostatistics core facilities to support molecular cancer epidemiology research projects. 4) Support the development of Tanzanian research teams and increase the research productivity through supporting two hypothesis-driven research projects in the two most prevalent AIDS-associated malignancies, KS and cervical cancer. This proposed program is unique and of high impact because it builds onto a successful ongoing Fogarty program and NCI training program in sub-Saharan Africa, expanding it into a truly cross-disciplinary research and training program with different training tracks and with in-country research projects teaming Tanzanian and U.S. researchers to conduct hypothesis-driven research on KS, cervical cancer, and their respective etiologic agents.
The proposed Cancer Consortium has a strong potential to improve health outcomes in Tanzania by providing the training, mentoring, and instrastructure to develop a strong AIDS malignancies reseach program with a focus on KSHV and HPV at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute.