Research and Excellence in African Capacity to Control and Treat CANcer

Contact:  Dr. Eva Kantelhardt

Duration: since April 2023

Funding:Wellcome Trust


Problem statement: REACCT-CAN focuses on cancer research, i.e. working towards the World Cancer Declaration and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 3 to reduce non-communicable diseases. In Africa, cancer is currently characterized by increasing incidence (1 to 2 million annual cases from 2018 to 2040). The annual number of deaths from cancer in our participating countries are 85 432 in Egypt (EG), 47954 in Ethiopia (ET), 28610 in Tanzania (TZ), and 5,373 in South Africa (GLOBCAN). Due to this need, all countries have cancer control plans which pointing out the need for more scientific evidence and to implement prevention strategies to prevent 30–50% of cancers.

Hence, cancer control research needs to include primary prevention research, whilst advanced diagnosis, inadequate treatment and low survival are near ubiquitous problems owing to overstretched oncology services. Tackling these problems requires knowledge of cancer in the context of African patients, health systems and socio-cultural norms. Today, only 1 in 5 LMICs have the necessary data to drive cancer policy.

Research proposal overview: REACCT-CAN’s research will build Africa’s future generation of cancer scientists. We have selected the research themes based on the following criteria (i) encompass the cancer research and care continuum; (ii) feed into national cancer control plans through research into early-diagnosis and common cancers (refs); (iii) balance epidemiology and laboratory research; (iv) form natural networks across EG, ET, TZ and ZA with each theme involving at least two partners. Graduates will design and shape narrower fields within these areas.