Prof. Wedge hosted for a cancer seminar

Prof. Wedge hosted for a cancer seminar.

Prof. David Wedge from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom was hosted at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Health Sciences for a cancer seminar where he gave a talk on Cancer Evolution and Ethnicity.

Prof. Wedge’s talk seeks to answer the probing question, what has ethnicity have to do with cancer? He conducts research based on ethnicity in relation to genetics and genotypes. He is currently working on research of the African genotype so as to understand matters, cancer genetics in the African genotype. He mostly conducts his research in labs of cells from their normalcy to development of cancer.

The Chair of the Department of Surgery Dr. Julius Kiboi acknowledged the well-established cancer research center at the University of Manchester. He said there is need for collaboration between the department and that of the University of Manchester aimed to improve cancer research especially in Africa.

The Faculty of Health Sciences Dean, Prof. George Osanjo, extended his warm welcome to the visitor from the United Kingdom. He called for more engagements on cancer and increased collaborations from other universities to help with extending cancer research especially urology- prostate cancer. He remembered the late Prof. George Magoha who had begun his own research on prostate cancer among Africans.

The Associate Vice Chancellor in charge of research Prof. Margret Hutchinson recognized the need to expand the conversation on cancer and its relation to genetics especially African genetics with its relation to the diverse human population and the different ethnicities of Africa.

“Africa hosts the majority of human genetic diversity. Many researchers base their research on people of other decent forgetting Africans. In the recent past this is changing and we as the University of Nairobi want to be on the forefront of this exciting research in cancer science. We hope that the research will expand beyond just prostate cancer to other prevalent cancers in Africa,” Prof. Hutchinson said.

Prof. Wedge expanded greatly on the statistics and outcomes of the already completed research done on different cancers all around Africa. He highlighted the prevalent cancers in the specific genotypes unique to Africans. Kenya is on the higher end of the spectrum of breast and prostate cancer mortality. Women ranked in order of black women, black American women then lastly white women in terms of those most prone to breast cancer according to studies.

He also mentioned an ongoing study of stomach cancer which targets low income areas in Africa specifically in Kenya. The study is being carried out in a number of counties among them Nyeri, Nakuru and other counties.