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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 collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute, we help train Ugandan oncologists and scientists through fellowships supported by the NIH, the African Development Bank, and private contributions. Since 2004, we have provided long-term training to 14 Ugandan physician-scientists and extensive research and clinical training opportunities. We also support clinical care capacity building with the UCI, for instance, through a weekly lymphoma tumor board and monthly clinical case conference. 

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.

pull quote photo

“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 Edus H. Warren an oncologist and researcher specializing in blood cancers and immunotherapy. Other scientific leaders include Warren Phipps, associate professor with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, and Manoj Menon, associate professor with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease and Clinical Research Divisions.

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.

Advancing Global Research with Local Impact

Read highlights of Global Oncology’s progress during fiscal year 2022. Learn more about our research progress and scientific achievements, training initiatives, grants and finances, and operations. The report also provides an update on our local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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
Last Modified, September 16, 2022