Uganda

UCI-Fred Hutch Collaboration

In 2008, Fred Hutch launched a partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, Uganda, the first comprehensive cancer facility in a country with approximately 43 million people. The leading causes of cancer death among Ugandan males and females are Kaposi sarcoma and cervical cancer, respectively. The two groups hardest hit by cancer are children under age 12 and middle-aged adults. Nearly one-third of patients diagnosed with cancers are infected with HIV.

Our original research focus in Uganda included discovering and understanding infection-related cancers — including lymphoma associated with Epstein-Barr virus, sarcomas associated with HIV, and cervical cancer due to persistent HPV infection — and has evolved to include other cancers, including breast cancer, that are contributing to escalating cancer rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our investigators in Uganda collect data from a large number of patients at a single site, which would be impossible in places like the United States, where infection-related cancers are less common and more widely dispersed.

A World-Class Cancer Center in Uganda

With our Ugandan partners and support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program, we built a state-of-the-art facility for research, training and clinical care on the UCI campus — the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre, which opened in May 2015. Its three-color brick exterior was designed to match the buildings on the Fred Hutch Seattle campus. Features of the 25,000-square-foot facility include:

  • Training center
  • Research labs
  • Molecular diagnostics lab with DNA sequencing capability 
  • Histopathology lab
  • Biorepository with more than 160,000 biologic specimens
  • Biosafety level 2 lab
  • Planned immunology and genomics labs 
  • UCI’s adult Kaposi sarcoma, gynecologic oncology, adult hematologic malignancy, and pediatric oncology outpatient clinics

Research Areas

At the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre, our multidisciplinary research teams of physicians, clinical researchers, basic research scientists, epidemiologists, pathologists, and research and administrative staff are engaged in more than 30 studies that investigate five types of cancers and six types of viruses associated with cancer:

Cancers:

Kaposi sarcoma

Cervical cancer

Breast cancer

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, including pediatric Burkitt lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma

Viruses:

HIV

Epstein-Barr virus

Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus

Herpes simplex viruses

Human papillomavirus

Hepatitis B

Training Ugandan Cancer Specialists

Our training program aims to cultivate the next generation of global oncology leaders in low- and middle-income countries. Over the past decade and a half, we have provided long-term cancer-related training to 14 Ugandan fellows and conducted numerous research and cancer training sessions in Uganda.