CHRU has already contributed significantly to the investigation of viral-associated cancers in the context of HIV infection and treatment. HPV-associated cervical cancer is the most common cancer in HIV-positive women in Africa.
The Unit’s work includes clinical trials undertaken as part of the AIDS Malignancies Consortium (AMC)network which supports innovative trials for AIDS-related HIV-associated cancers and develops the scientific agenda for clinical trials. This includes investigating new interventions for malignancies in people living with HIV and studying the pathobiology of these tumours.
Through CHRU’s participation in the AMC, it is involved with studies that deal with the major HIV-associated cancers that affect HIV-positive patients:
- Kaposi’s Sarcoma
- Human Papillomavirus-related HIV-associated cancers (which include anal and cervical HIV-associated cancers) and
- Non-AIDS defining HIV-associated cancers (lung, head and neck- and liver cancers).
The unit plays a key role in supporting the AMC’s strategy to ensure the participation of diverse patient populations.
CHRU is a National Cancer Institute AIDS Malignancy Consortium (NCI/AMC) site and initiated the first research protocol within cervical cancer treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of HIV-associated cancers among women worldwide and a leading cause of HIV-associated cancer death in South African women.
CHRU’s research is involved with both prevention and treatment and is relevant to health policy in South Africa.
Trials focused on prevention seek to prevent cervical cancer cases and deaths by:
- Improving cervical cancer screening
- Investigating new treatments for cervical cancers
- Determining the best way to treat cervical cancer in high-risk women, such as those living with HIV.