Our Contributions to Science

  1. Tele-mentoring & Quality Palliative Care: In 2016, our Executive Director, Runcie C.W. Chidebe was invited by the U.S. Government to the United States, he travelled to UT MD Anderson Cancer Centre, and met with Dr Sriram Yennu. Together, they had a conversation on poor access to quality palliative care in Nigeria and decided to start up ECHO Palliative online clinics and tele-mentoring in Nigeria with health workers at National Hospital Abuja. It became the first ECHO Palliative Clinic in Nigeria, as at today, we have healthcare workers in University College Hospital, Ibadan who have joined the online clinics. The impact of this project was published on Journal of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 36, 15_suppl, 6545-6545 http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2018.36.15_suppl.6545
  2. Breast Cancer Navigation & Palliative Programme (BCNPP): In 2014, we realized that when women find a breats lump, they visit their healthcare providers and after the visit, the women depart and there is no follow-up or any form of guidance. In 2015, we developed the BCNPP to set-up a patient navigation programme in Abuja which was funded by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Our finding was that women needed personal connection to build trust in orthodox medicine. We also explored the support networks preference among women living with metastatic breast cancer in Nigeria and Turkey. As the principal investigator, our Executive Director presented the results of the study at the Advanced Breast Cancer Conference, Lisbon, Portugal and World Cancer Congress, Paris, France; and was published on “The Breast” Chidebe, R.C.W., Ebru, T., Orjiako, T.C., Omur, E., Ceren, U., Arua, S.C., Onyishi, I.E., (2017), Exploring the Support Network and Quality of Life of Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients in Nigeria and Turkey. (https://www.thebreastonline.com/article/S0960-9776(17)30752-X/fulltext   ).
  3. Global Inequity in Access to Cancer Treatment: In 2015, our Executive Director was among the eight (8) young investigators who were awarded Young Leaders Award at World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. At this summit, we learnt about the lopsided distribution of cancer care globally. Hence, we decided to review the scientific stance, and mobilized 21 researchers from 10 countries to develop a piece. Our Executive Director was a co-investigator and played a significant role. The piece was published on Lancet Oncology. lbawi, A.M.I., Ayoo, E., Bhadelia, A. Chidebe, R.C.W., Fadelu, T. et al. (2017) Advancing access and equity: the vision of a new generation in cancer control. Volume 18, No. 2, p172–175, February 2017 (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(17)30041-4/fulltext ).
  4. Prostate Cancer in Nigeria: In 2018, we worked to secure a grant from ACT Foundation to launch Nigeria’s largest prostate cancer project in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. In this research project, we wanted to learn and share about the perceived attitude and knowledge of men to prostate screenings and awareness. Our study made an immense scientific contribution in providing insights from navigating 127 men with elevated Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) from the total 1661 men who received the PSA test in the study. As the principal investigator, our Executive Director presented this study at World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the abstract was published in ASCO’s Journal of Global OncologyChidebe, R.C.W., Emelumadu, O., Lounsbury, D., Orjiakor, T.C., Okoye, I.O., Anunobi C.D., Hafees, A., Ikuerowo, S.O., Dogo, H., Moraes, F., Achor, G., Eguzo, K., Atakere, D., Ezeama, N., Ugwuoke, C., Dantsoho, S.A., Okoro, N., Abdulazeez, J., Iriyo, I., Emeralds, O. and Okwuegbunam (2018). Men on Blue: Knowledge, Belief, Fear, Perceived Attitude of Men to Prostate Cancer Screening and Awareness in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Global Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). (http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jgo.18.95500)
  5. Neglected Tropical Diseases & Cancer: With the increase of co-infection of cancer and tropical diseases in Africa; we argue that cancer may become a tropical disease. For instance, 50% of Squamous Cell Carcinoma is caused by Schistosomiasis, 83% of liver cancer is caused by Hepatitis B and 87% of Kaposi Sarcoma is linked to HIV/AIDS. This work has generated arguments and stimulated more research in co-infections and cancer in Nigeria. Project PINK BLUE will be signing an MoU with Nigeria’s largest group of HIV positive people, known as Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. Our Executive Director was a co-investigator in this study. The study was presented at Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, London, UK. Chidebe, R.C.W., Orjiako, T.C., Okoye, I. & Egwim N., (2017). Proactive steps towards preventing the emergence of cancer as a tropical disease: Integrating the experiences of Oncology Practitioners; presented at Research in Progress on December 14, Royal Society Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, London, UK.https://rstmh.org/sites/default/files/research_in_progress_programme_07.12.16.pdf

Ongoing research projects

  1. Using mobile device to navigate men at risk of prostate Cancer: We, funded by ACT Foundation have kicked off the second phase of the prostate cancer project in three states in Nigeria, the goal is to increase awareness of prostate cancer, provide PSA screenings and use mobile device to navigate the men through care.
  2. Medical Oncology Study:With funding from U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, we trained 44 Nigerian oncologists, we are presently evaluating the impact of the training and following up on the physicians. The 2019 Upgrade Oncology will kick off in August 2019.
  3. Nigerian Radiotherapy Crisis: Nigeria has only 9 radiotherapy treatment centres for a population of over 160 million. Only 2 to 3 of the machines are working at a time. We are working with researchers to investigate the frequent break-down of these machines.
  4. Prospective multi-centre analysis on epidemiology and receptor status of breast cancer in Nigeria: a case for enhancing National Cancer Registry Services: We are working with 12 oncologists and pathologists on this systematic review.
  5. Impact of waiting time for radiotherapy on psychological well-being of metastatic breast cancer patients: We want to draw an analysis on stage migration and self-report of psychological well-being of metastatic breast cancer patients. Some of them have to wait for six months before getting radiotherapy and some have to travel from other cities.
  6. Dynamics in Breaking the Bad News in Nigeria: A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of burden. In this study, we are asking patients to share how their diagnosis were shared to them.
  7. “Not my portion” Religiosity, Knowledge and Perspective of breast, cervical and prostate cancer screenings amongst Nigerians: In this studywe are using social media to investigate the role religiosity on the knowledge and perception of breast, cervical and prostate cancer in Nigeria.
  8. Complexity of prostate cancer disparity: a case for collaborative research towards understanding the disease: In collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), we are investigating the immediate and remote aetiology of the wide disparity in burden of prostate cancer amongst Black when compared with other races.
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