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Global Oncology

Advancing Science to Address the Burden of Cancer and Related Infectious Diseases in Low-Resource Settings

Cancer is an increasingly urgent global health issue. By 2030, the global cancer burden is projected to grow by 70 percent, and more than two-thirds of cancer deaths are occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Yet only 2 percent of health funding in these countries is directed toward cancer and other noncommunicable diseases. Many of the highest-burden cancers in these regions are associated with infectious diseases, including HIV, human papillomavirus, and viral hepatitis.

Fred Hutch has a growing cross-divisional Global Oncology program that investigates globally relevant cancers and seeks to understand the varied genetics and biology of common cancers around the world. We aim to develop high-impact, low-cost diagnostic tools, and therapies that can be used in low-resource settings worldwide.

Our Priorities

training providers

An Expanding Research Focus

Global Oncology is a collaborative research program whose core activities are based in Uganda, through a longstanding partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute. We are expanding our research to better understand, diagnose and treat infection-related and other high-burden cancers in low-resource settings and to develop new immunotherapies. Current research includes defining the molecular profile of breast cancer and conducting a clinical trial that delivers rituximab subcutaneously to treat lymphoma.

Researchers at the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre histopathology lab

Training Oncology Providers and Scientists

Through our partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute, we are helping to train Ugandan oncologists, nurses and scientists through fellowships supported by the National Institutes of Health, the African Development Bank and private contributions. Since 2004, we have provided long-term training to 14 Ugandan physician-scientists in Seattle and Kampala and have provided extensive research and clinical training opportunities in Uganda. Our training efforts also support clinical care capacity at the UCI, for instance through a weekly lymphoma tumor board led by Dr. Edus H. Warren and Ugandan physician-scientist Dr. Abrahams Omoding, a monthly UCI-Fred Hutch joint clinical case conference, and a nursing oncology program led by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Research Highlights

Microscopic slide of cancer

Cervical Cancer

Microscopic slide of tumor

Breast Cancer

Researchers studying test tubes

Kaposi Sarcoma

Breast Cancer

In sub-Saharan Africa, fewer than half of people diagnosed with breast cancer live beyond five years, compared with almost 90 percent in the United States. We are testing a diagnostic tool that is widely available in Africa to assess its performance in determining a tumor’s hormone receptor status and other characteristics that can guide treatment. We will study the feasibility of a three-drug chemotherapy regimen that can be given orally rather than intravenously. In addition, we are using genetic sequencing to look for mutations that may explain why breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa tends to strike younger women and be especially aggressive — characteristics also seen in breast cancer in African-American women.

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“Our mission is to generate cancer and related infectious disease research with global impact and support the development of research and clinical capacity in low-resource settings."

— Dr. Edus Warren, Program Head, Global Oncology

Dr. Edus H. Warren (right) standing with Dr. Nixon Niyonzima with the Uganda Cancer Insitute

Our Leadership

Global Oncology is led by Dr. Edus H. Warren (above, right), an oncologist and researcher specializing in blood cancers and cancer immunotherapy. Other program leaders include: Dr. Warren Phipps, the medical director for the UCI-Fred Hutch Collaboration and associate professor with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, focuses on HIV-associated malignancies and is based in Kampala, Uganda; Dr. Manoj Menon, associate professor with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease and Clinical Research Divisions; and Stuart Tenney, the Global Oncology interim managing director.  

Dr. Menoj Menon speaks during the World Cancer Day Celebration

Our Faculty

Global Oncology currently includes three faculty members, one staff scientist, and several affiliate faculty who are based at Fred Hutch and/or the University of Washington. Global Oncology plans to expand its faculty members and build more research collaborations across Fred Hutch and beyond.

Perseverance to Further Global Research

Read highlights of Global Oncology’s scientific and training accomplishments during fiscal year 2021. Learn more about our continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including conducting research safely, scaling up SARS-CoV-2 testing and securing personal protective equipment for our teams in Kampala.

Uganda hospitals receive much-needed COVID-19 supplies from Seattle area Donation of personal protective equipment from Fred Hutch, local community aids health workers in hard-hit country July 23, 2021
In Uganda: Treating twin threats of HIV and cancer Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation visits Hutch researchers in Kampala August 6, 2019
Reducing the cancer burden for women around the globe Dr. Nancy Davidson on improving outcomes for women with breast, lung and colorectal cancer April 9, 2019
Fred Hutch and Aga Khan University set stage for collaboration on global health Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his wife, Princess Salwa, tour labs March 11, 2019

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Contact Global Oncology

Phone: 206.667.4600
Work Location: Arnold Building, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109-1024