Projects

HM Botha, FH Van der Merwe, V Sewram (Stellenbosch Team, AIDS Malignancy Consortium)

Project Title: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of HPV Vaccination to Reduce Cervical High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions among HIV-Infected Women Participating in an HPV Test-and-Treat Program (COVENANT)

Objectives:

  1. To determine if HPV vaccination reduces the occurrence of cervical HSIL among HIV-infected women participating in an HPV test-and-treat strategy for cervical cancer prevention.
  2. To describe occurrence of cervical HSIL from week 52 to week 104.
  3. To examine the predictors of sustained absence of cervical HSIL through week 104 and clearance of HPV infections after cervical treatment, including: baseline types and quantity of HPV, presence of HSIL at baseline, cryotherapy vs. LEEP, CD4+ cell count, plasma HIV-1 RNA, ART use, age, sexual behavior, and vaccination use.
  4. To compare, between study arms, incident cervical vaccine type HPV infections and cervical cytology results.
  5. To describe prevalent and incident vulvar HSIL or cancer in this population.

V Sewram (ACI), N. Nqaleni (Durban University of Technology)

Project Title: Evaluation of the Mutagenic and Cytotoxic Properties of Chrome-Containing Enemas and Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Objectives:

  1. To evaluate the dose-dependent mutagenic potential of the Ndonya-containing enemas in three strains of Salmonella typhimurium (TA97a, TA100, TA102) using the reverse bacterial mutagenicity (Ames) assay;
  2. To evaluate the dose dependent cytotoxicity of the Ndonya-containing enemas on human colon epithelial cells, CCD841con, using the Alamar Blue cell viability assay;
  3. To create public awareness against the dangers of traditional enema use.

V Sewram (ACI), Anandasaparthy (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas), R Khotram (Rice University Houston, Texas)

Project Title: High Resolution Micro-Endoscopy for the Management of Oesophageal Neoplasia (HRME)

Objectives:

  1. To evaluate the accuracy and efficiency of HRME during ESCN screening and surveillance.
  2. To compared the performance characteristics of LCE vs. LCE + HRME
  3. To compare the number of LCE positive biopsies saved and patients saved any biopsy with use of HRME.

V Sewram, H Simba, Christoffel Van Rensburg (ACI, SU), C Abnet, SM Dawsey (NCI, USA)

Project Title: Study of Cancer of the Oesophagus and its Prevalence in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa (SCOPE)

Objectives:

  1. To determine the prevalence of OC and OSD within Centane, Eastern Cape Province, overall and by age decade.
  2. To describe histologic grade, distribution and extent of OSD in subjects screened.
  3. To examine various environmental and social factors on the risk of developing OC and OSD.
  4. To evaluate the feasibility of an OC and OSD screening program within the high risk population.
  5. To determine the levels of PAH and acetaldehyde contained in food and drinking water, respectively.
  6. To assess the levels of PAH and acetaldehyde in human blood, urine, and mouthwash samples to determine their association with the presence of OSD.
  7. To investigate the association between OSD and genetic variants of PAH and alcohol metabolizing genes.
  8. To determine the nutritional status of participants by evaluating the vitamin B12 and folate levels in collected blood samples.
  9. To determine the levels of selenium in collected blood samples.
  10. To determine the level of nitrates/nitrites/nitrosamines in the water sources used by the community.
  11. To investigate the presence of antibodies to H. pylori and HPV in serum, and to assess current H. pylori status using the urease test.
  12. To determine the risk profile related to mild, moderate and severe dysplasia and resultant progression to OC, hence facilitating the placement of an early detection and screening policy for OC in the Eastern Cape Province.

H Simonds (Radiation Oncology), Laurence Court (Medical Physics – MDACC), Varian Medical Systems, The Santo Thomas University Hospital, The Philippines

Project Title: The virtual Dosimetrist for radiation therapy planning in low and middle income countries.

Aims:

  1. To Automate treatment planning.
  2. To Automate treatment plan QA.
  3. To Clinically implement the system in the Philippines and South Africa.
  4. To Clinically implement the system in LMI regions across South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

K Baatjes (Surgery), M Kotze (Pathology), V Sewram (ACI), S Black (MDACC – Surgery), Aaron Shibemba (Cancer Diseases Hospital, Zambia)

Project Title: A Quality Initiative for Improving Pathology Diagnosis and Genomic Characterization of Breast Cancer in Zambia

Aims:

  1. To improve breast specimen processing and standardize pathology classification of breast cancer histologic and receptor subtypes,
  2. To compare the genetic heterogeneity of breast cancers from Zambian, South African, and American patients by determining chromosomal copy number imbalances.

V Sewram (ACI), Sarah B. Fakroodeen (Highway Hospice Association), Sriram Yennu (MDACC)

Project Title: Patient’s Decisional Control Preferences in the Palliative Care Setting: A Multi-Center Survey

Aim: The overall purpose of this study is to collect preliminary data so as to compare the decisional control preference across the various countries and cultures.

Objectives:

  1. To describe the proportions of passive decision making for individual
  2. countries throughout the world.
  3. To compare the proportion of passive decision making in developed and developing countries.
  4. To determine the agreement between patients’ decisional control preferences and their self-reported actual decision-making experiences regarding cancer care
  5. To identify associations among patients’ decisional control preferences with their socio-demographic and clinical characteristics.
  6. To identify the factors that influence patient satisfaction with the decision-making process.
  7. To determine patients’ level of understanding of their illness and prognosis.

V Sewram (ACI), S.B Fakroodeen (Highway Hospice Association), Siriram Yennu (MDACC), Zipporah Ali (Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association); Luis Fernando Rodrigues (Barretos Cancer Centre, Brazil), Catherine K.Mwaba (Cancer Diseases Hospital, Zambia)

Project Title: Project ECHO Telementoring to improve quality palliative care access in LMICs.

Aim:

To increase the number of health care providers in SA, Zambia and Mozambique helping patients with life limiting illness with skills required to provide quality palliative care.

Objectives:

  1. To increase the capacity for accurate assessment and management of cancer pain and related symptoms,
  2. To increase the provider self –efficacy in communication with patients and their family with advanced cancer especially regards to advance care planning.
  3. To increase provider self-efficacy and satisfaction by implementing Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a well-established telementoring model proven to expand access to specialty medical care for underserved areas.

K Baatjes (Surgery), M Kotze (Pathology), V Sewram (ACI), Bisrat Debeb (MDACC – Medical Oncology & Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Project Title: Molecular and Immunohistochemical Characterization of Breast Cancer in Ethiopia

Aims

  1. To classify breast cancer subtypes to strategize the treatment options with available limited resources
  2. To provide multidisciplinary mentorship and lab-based training at MD Anderson to an exchange student from Ethiopia.