Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Symposium on Cervical Cancer in Africa

Symposium on Cervical Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa

 Mbeya, Tanzania

2nd - 6th November 2015

The National Institute for Medical Research-Mbeya Medical Research Center (NIMR-MMRC), in collaboration with the META Hospital for Gynecology and Obstetrics of the Mbeya Referral Hospital (MRH) in Mbeya, Tanzania and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany is pleased to announce an International Symposium and Workshops on Cervical Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.


 2nd-3rd November 2015 - Symposium on Linking Programmatic, Clinical and Biomedical Research Activities to Reduce Cervical Cancer Burden In sub-Saharan Afric
 • 4th-6th November 2015 – Clinical and basic science workshops 


  MRH Auditorium Hall , Mbeya, Tanzania


Registration is free. Please register by 5th October 2015 via filling a registration form and emailing to:
Download the application form here

Symposium Overview

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) associated cervical cancer (CC) is the second most frequent cancer in women worldwide [1]. Women from developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa have a multifold increased risk compared to European or North American women [1,2]. HIV infection is associated with high prevalence of persisting infection with multiple high risk (HR) HPV types, rapid disease progression and much less frequent regression [3,4] which contribute to high CC incidence rates in sub-Saharan Africa. CC should however be largely preventable through early detection and treatment of premalignant stages, and through the recently introduced preventive HPV vaccines [5].
Tanzania is a good representative for sub-Saharan African countries in this regard. CC is the most frequent cancer in Tanzanian women with the age-adjusted incidence rate of 54 per 100,000 women, 32.4% mortality and an estimated 5-year prevalence of 43.2% [1]. HIV prevalence in Tanzanian women is also high and increases from 1% among those aged 15-19 to 10% among those aged 45-49 years [6] and many women have no or little access to CC screening [7]. The situation is no different in many other African countries [1] where limited awareness and access to existing CC interventions such as screening services, vaccines and treatment facilities contribute to their high burden of CC [7–10]. Major advances in the access to antiretroviral treatment prolong life of HIV+ patients, but the effect of ART intervention on HPV disease progression and CC incidence rates in HIV+ women appears to be limited [11]. Better linkage between CC and HIV programmatic, clinical activities and biomedical research activities could constitute an important pillar to improve prevention and cure strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by HPV disease in this region.
This symposium is therefore specifically aimed at African and International scientists/clinicians/pathologists/lab scientists/programmatic experts with specific interest in Cervical Cancer research, with the objective of sharing of experiences and challenges confronting the control and management of cervical cancer, but most importantly, stimulating exchange of ideas on how to bridge the gap from programmatic and clinical activities to basic research activities to help improve cervical cancer preventive and therapeutic strategies and disease management in sub-Saharan Africa. Focus will also be on the Co-pathogenesis of HPV and HIV in the era of HAART.


The symposium will focus on:
1. Prevention of Cervical Carcinoma
 Epidemiology and programmatic aspects of CC screening (CCS) activities from different African programs,
 Routine and novel CCS diagnostics (VIA, cytology/histology, HPV molecular diagnostics, point-of-care testing),
 HPV disease in HIV positive women – tailored prevention strategies,
The role of preventive HPV vaccines.
2. Therapeutic intervention strategies tailored for African settings
 Therapeutic intervention during premalignant stages,
 Intervention strategies for malignant disease,
 Problems in disease management and how these can be overcomed in a developing country setting.
3. Basic Research 
 HPV pathogenesis and immunology,
 HIV-HPV co-pathogenesis,
 Development of future HPV vaccines (preventive & therapeutic).

Practical workshops for African scientists will elucidate the most fundamental steps underlying the development of novel vaccines including:
 molecular detection and characterization of HPV infection
 molecular cloning of viral oncogenes E6 and E7 for subsequent sequencing
 histological and immuno-histochemical characterization of HPV disease
 characterization of HPV-specific immune responses
 CC screening and therapeutic interventions performed at Mbeya Referral Hospital  
Download detailed program here

DZIF Traveling Scholarships:

We will offer a limited numberof travel assistance to young East African scientists, students and laboratory technicians in a competitive manner. The scholarship will specifically cover round-trip transport fare, accommodation and transportation to and from the symposium venue. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on their interest in the symposium topic, affiliation and nationality. Women are especially encouraged to apply.
If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should electronically submit the following documents to by 5th October 2015.
• CV
• Letter of interest (not more than 150 words) describing why you should be considered for a scholarship

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  Dr. Msemo Diwani (ORCI, Tanzania)
  Dr. Liseth Torres(MRH,Tanzania)
  Dr. Mary Rose Giattas (JHPIEGO, Tanzania)
  Dr. John Changalucha (MITU,Tanzania)
  Dr. Edna Viegas (INS, Mozambique)
  Dr. Peter Baffoe (Bolgatanga, Ghana)
  Prof. Ralph Lellé (University of Muenster, Germany)
  Prof. Ralph Wagner (University of Regensburg, Germany)

Dr. Daniela Höfler (German Cancer Research Institute, Germany)


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