Global health funding for cancer research and treatment in low- and middle-income countries is minimal relative to mortality rates and compared to funding for research and treatment of other life-threatening infectious diseases. Only about 2 percent of global development assistance for health is directed toward noncommunicable diseases, including cancer.
Fred Hutch is at the forefront of transforming the way we fight cancer on a global scale. Our work in Uganda over the past 15 years, along with more recent work in China, has shown that cancer in low- and middle-income countries can be effectively addressed and that solutions developed for those settings can lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies in all countries.
To generate groundbreaking scientific research and provide technical assistance to our partners to reduce the burden of cancer in Africa and elsewhere, we depend on the generosity of our donors and partners. You can help sustain and accelerate this important work.
At age 2, Mike Kiragga developed a lump on his face that kept growing. No one in his small village in west-central Uganda had seen anything like it, but they were certain that witchcraft was to blame. His father, Ronald Lumala, a farmer, took the boy to traditional healers, trading goats for care. But nothing helped.
Lumala eventually took his son to the village medical clinic, which referred him to a regional hospital in Kampala for a biopsy. The test revealed Burkitt lymphoma, the leading cause of pediatric cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. The cancer, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, has a cure rate of more than 90 percent in the United States, but only 65 percent of affected children in Uganda survive more than five years beyond diagnosis.
Mike was sent to the Uganda Cancer Institute, where he was enrolled in the Burkitt Lymphoma Project, a joint initiative of the UCI and Fred Hutch, and immediately began chemotherapy treatments. Almost overnight, the tumor shrank by nearly half, and after a course of six treatments it disappeared completely.
Our research and training programs in Uganda, China and elsewhere are helping to ensure a better understanding of how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers like Burkitt lymphoma — and potentially save millions of lives around the world.
For more information about funding opportunities or to make a donation, please contact us or call 206.667.6075.