Global Oncology

Advancing Science to Address the Burden of Cancer in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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

  • Research
  • Training
  • More (0)

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- and middle-income countries 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. In China, our collaborative research studies focus on prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of gastric and other cancers and infectious diseases. Global Oncology facilitates research partnerships between Fred Hutch and Chinese collaborators.

Training African Oncology Providers

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

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), is the most common cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and kills more African women than any other cancer. HIV-infected women are five times more likely to develop cervical cancer than women who do not have HIV. Our research on cervical cancer includes a study of Ugandan women with HIV who are found to have precancerous lesions; it compares those whose precancers spontaneously resolve with those who develop cancer. The results of the study could lead to improved prevention and treatment of HPV-associated cancers worldwide.

“Our mission is to conduct cancer research that has global impact and to help develop research capacity and improve clinical care to address the cancer burden in low- and middle-income countries.”

— Dr. Edus Warren, Program Head, Global Oncology

Dr. Edus H. Warren and Dr. Thomas Uldrick

Our Leadership

Global Oncology is led by Dr. Edus H. Warren, an oncologist and researcher specializing in blood cancers and cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Thomas Uldrick, a hematologist and oncologist with expertise in pathogen-associated malignancies, is the deputy program head. Dr. Warren Phipps, the medical director for the UCI-Fred Hutch Collaboration, focuses on HIV-associated malignancies and is based in Kampala, Uganda, at the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre.

Researchers at the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre histopathology lab

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

An Innovative Partnership in Uganda

The cornerstone of our global research is our decade-plus collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, which is directed by Dr. Jackson Orem and was the first comprehensive cancer center in a country of approximately 43 million people. The UCI was among the first sites in the world to use intravenous chemotherapy to treat cancer.

With our Ugandan partners, we built a world-class facility on the UCI campus, greatly expanding research, training and patient care capacity at an institution that serves a five-country region.

Sign Up For Global Oncology Email Updates

Contact Global Oncology

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