AFRICA – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has committed up to US$60 million for the recently launched next phase of the Affordable Cancer Technologies (ACT) Program.

The program supports multidisciplinary research teams in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa to adapt, engineer, and apply new technologies for global cancer control that are cost-effective.

NCI also supports trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) programs focused on innovative mobile health technologies.

The NIH Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation (DSI-Africa) commits up to US$11 million for new projects beginning in 2023 extending through 2025, with the next round of 6 new awards anticipated in fall 2023. This is following US$75 million in commitments from NIH that have been awarded in 2021.

Extends support for cancer implementation science

NCI has also committed up to US$57.5 million to advance methods to promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings to improve population health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

While there are effective interventions across the cancer care continuum to reduce the global cancer burden, LMICs face important challenges in implementing evidenced-based cancer control interventions.

Since 2019 NCI has invested in implementation science initiatives including projects in Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia, and will extend those through 2027, with 4 new implementation science center awards anticipated in summer 2023.

NIC launches HIV/Cervical cancer prevention clinical trials network

NCI has invested US$25 million to a new clinical trials network focused on optimizing the cervical cancer screening, management, and precancer treatment cascade.

The network includes partnerships between U.S. research institutions and clinical trials sites in Botswana, Kenya, and Uganda, which are countries that all face high HIV- and cervical cancer-burden.

Women living with HIV have up to a 6-fold higher risk for developing cervical cancer than HIV-uninfected women. To help address this increasing burden, the CASCADE clinical trials will evaluate the clinical effectiveness of cervical cancer prevention interventions in local environments, while gathering crucial information to inform implementation and scale-up.

CASCADE engages partners in the United States and across the globe in a shared decision-making framework through a network steering committee, and complementary responsibilities in all steps from clinical trial conceptualization, protocol development, conduct, completion, and dissemination.

The network will contribute evidence to inform clinical practice guidelines and improve implementation of cervical cancer control for women living with HIV globally.

NCI commits up to US$25 million to CASCADE beginning in 2022 extending through 2027, with the next round of 5 new clinical trial site awards (to join 3 African clinical trial sites already supported) anticipated in summer 2023.

Strengthens institutional capacity for global cancer research

NCI commits to diversify the global cancer research workforce and strengthen institutional capacity to support cohorts of next generation cancer researchers in LMICs.

Research training programs co-created by academic institutions in LMICs working with NCI-designated cancer centers will provide institutional support, mentorship, training, networking, and career development support tailored to local needs and interests, including dedicated training in patient-reported outcomes, implementation research, cancer genomics, cancer epidemiology, and bioinformatics.

In addition to broader institutional support, NCI will also provide dedicated support at the individual level to early career African researchers through the Beginning Investigator Grant for Catalytic Research (BIG CAT) program in collaboration with the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), as well as through co-funding support for career development programs administered by the NIH Fogarty International Center.

The NCI has committed nearly US$11 million to the Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Global Cancer Research program initiated in 2021 extending through 2027, supporting training efforts in Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia.

NIC supports HIV/AIDS associated malignancy research

NCI will support HIV-Associated Malignancy Research Centers including multiple institutions and investigators from the United States and across the African continent with US$48.5 million

NCI has also committed to support clinical trial activities across all U.S. and international sites as part of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), a multicenter clinical trials network established in 1995 to conduct state-of-the-art clinical trials to treat and prevent cancers in people living with HIV.

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