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Symposium on Cervical Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa

Location: Mbeya, Tanzania

Date: 02. - 03.11.2015

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.

The symposium aimed at African and International scientists/clinicians/pathologists/lab scientists/programmatic experts with specific interest in Cervical Cancer research, with the objective of sharing experiences and challenges confronting the control and management of cervical cancer, but most importantly, to stimulate 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.


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)


  • Prof. Twalib Ngoma (MUHAS, Tanzania)
  • Dr. Msemo Diwani (ORCI, Tanzania)
  • Dr. John France (MRH, Tanzania)
  • Dr. Liseth Torres(MRH,Tanzania)
  • Dr. Mary Rose Giattas (JHPIEGO, Tanzania)
  • Dr. Ruby Mcharo (NIMR-MMRC, Tanzania)
  • Dr. Mkunde Chachage (NIMR-MMRC, Tanzania)
  • Dr. John Changalucha (MITU,Tanzania)
  • Dr. Katherine Gallagher (MITU, Tanzania)
  • Dr. Edna Viegas (INS, Mozambique)
  • Dr. Tamrat Abebe (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)
  • Dr. Peter Baffoe (Bolgatanga, Ghana)
  • Prof. Jo-Ann Passmore (UCT, South Africa)
  • Prof. Ralph Lellé (University of Muenster, Germany)
  • Dr. Andreas Kaufman (Charité Universitätmedizin Berlin, Germany)
  • Dr. Eva Kantelhardt (Martin-Luther Universität Halle, Germany)
  • Dr. Christof Geldmacher (LMU, Germany)
  • Dr. Arne Kroidl (LMU, Germany)
  • Dr. Andreas Wieser (LMU, Germany)
  • Prof. Ralph Wagner (University of Regensburg, Germany)
  • Dr. Daniela Höfler (German Cancer Research Institute, Germany)


Organized by: 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. With financial support from Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),



1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, et al. (2013) GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France:International Agency for Researchon Cancer. Available: Accessed 24 February 2015.

2. Agosti JM, Goldie SJ (2007) Introducing HPV vaccine in developing countries- -key challenges and issues. N Engl J Med 356: 1908–1910.

3. Ahdieh L, Klein RS, Burk R, Cu-Uvin S, Schuman P, et al. (2001) Prevalence, incidence, and type-specific persistence of human papillomavirus in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative women. J Infect Dis184: 682–690.

4. Hermans P (2000) Opportunistic AIDS-associated malignancies in HIVinfectedpatients. Biomed Pharmacother 54: 32–40.

5. WHO (2006) Comprehensive cervical cancer control: a guide to essentialpractice. Geneva: World Health Organization.

6. THMIS (2011) HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey 2011-12.

7. Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (2011) Tanzania Service Delivery Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control.

8. WHO (2008) Cancer prevention and control: A strategy for the WHO AfricanRegion.

9. Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, Alleyne G, Claeson M, et al. (2006)Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries.

10. Dangou JM, Sambo B-H, Moeti M, Diarra-Nama A-J (2009) Cancer prevention and control in the WHO African region: a plea for action. African J Cancer 1:56–60.

11. Chaturvedi AK, Madeleine MM, Biggar RJ, Engels EA (2009) Risk of humanpapillomavirus-associated cancers among persons with AIDS. J Natl Cancer Inst 101: 1120–1130.