Interdisciplinary Training

Jessica Yager

"Measuring the impact of mobile phone short message service on Kaposi sarcoma outcomes in Uganda"

Though cancer is often considered a disease of industrialized nations, the devastating impact of cancer in the developing world is increasing at an alarming rate.  As the only cancer care center in Uganda, the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) receives more than 10,000 new and returning patients annually, the majority of whom suffer from HIV-associated malignancies. Kaposi sarcoma (KS) alone accounts for 1000 new cancer cases each year.  In response to this disease burden, novel and innovative approaches to expanding cancer care are desperately needed.  In many developing countries, mobile telephone technologies have been rapidly adopted and present an opportunity to improve patient follow-up and clinical outcomes.  I plan to design, implement and evaluate a short message service (SMS) intervention targeting KS patients at the UCI in Kampala, Uganda.  I aim to increase the number of patients who are retained in care and who receive complete cycles of chemotherapy, with the ultimate aim of improving patients’ clinical outcomes.  This collaboration represents a novel approach to improving cancer care in a resource-limited setting, and could have significant implications for managing a rapidly increasing burden of disease.