Conquer Cancer Foundation Funds Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries for the First Time

Recipients of the Foundation’s New International Innovation Grant Announced

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The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology has announced the four recipients of the inaugural 2014 International Innovation Grant, which is a new program that underscores the Foundation’s continued commitment to improving the care of patients worldwide. The 1-year grants of up to $20,000 will support novel and innovative research projects led by ASCO members in Nigeria, Tanzania, Colombia, and Myanmar. The grant funds research that can significantly impact cancer control in low- and middle-income countries.

As the global cancer burden continues to increase, there is a great need for programs that deliver creative solutions to improving cancer care in countries with limited resources. To help address this need, the International Innovation Grant was designed to fund projects that can impact people locally while also having the potential to be transferrable to other low- and middle-income settings. 

“We considered how we could improve the lives of cancer patients in low-to-middle income countries in a cost-effective, scalable, and meaningful way,” said Anees B. Chagpar, MD, Chair of the International Innovation Grant Selection Subcommittee. “We discovered that what was needed, beyond improving awareness and oncology practice, was innovation—people thinking about how they could best help patients with cancer in their own environments.” 

International Innovation Grant Recipients

The recipients of the 2014 International Innovation Grants are:

Chibuike Ogwuegbu Chigbu, MBBS, FWACS
University of Nigeria Teaching
Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla

Dr. Chigbu will serve as the principal investigator on a three-phase study to examine the effect of community health educators on uptake of cervical and breast cancer screening and human papillomavirus vaccination in rural southeast Nigeria.

Bertha Tsingay Maegga, PhD
Tanzania Public Health Association
Nearly two-thirds of tobacco use in Tanzania starts before age 12. Dr. Maegga will serve as the principal investigator on the 80 Children Strong research project that will implement an intensive 1-week, school-based tobacco awareness campaign designed to reduce the percentage of children age 14 and younger who use tobacco products in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Armando Sardi, MD, FACS
Fundación Para la Prevención y Tratamiento del Cáncer, Colombia
Dr. Sardi will lead a project investigating a model telehealth education intervention to improve cervical cancer service provision and health outcomes. In Colombia, the incidence of cervical cancer is twice that of the United States with mortality rates that are 4.5 times greater. 

Mya Thida, MBBS
University of Medicine 1, Myanmar
Dr. Thida will lead a study looking at the effectiveness of a visual inspection with acetic acid– and cryotherapy-based single-visit approach to cervical cancer prevention in Taikkyi Township, Myanmar, where only an estimated 0.9% of women are currently screened.

“The applications were all outstanding and I am thrilled with the first set of grants awarded,” Dr. Chagpar said. “I can’t wait to see how these investigators put these projects into action and am excited to see the impact on cancer worldwide.”

Reducing the Global Cancer Burden

According to Dr. Chagpar, the International Innovation Grant embodies the mission of the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which encourages and supports ASCO members in working to make a lasting and meaningful difference in reducing the cancer burden and improving the lives of patients in all regions of the world. In addition, it is the newest in a number of ASCO International programs dedicated to fostering global collaboration to improve cancer care.

The 2014 International Innovation Grants were made possible by the generous support of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Thomas G. Roberts, Jr, MD, and Susan M. DaSilva.

Visit to watch a video about the Innovation Grant and other international programs funded by the Conquer Cancer Foundation, and to make a donation that will have a global reach and personal impact on people with cancer. ■

© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.