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Centre for Global Child Health

Saving Lives: Cancer Pathology in Africa

Principal investigator: Dr. Helen Dimaras, Scientist at the Centre for Global Child Health and Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Assistant Professor at The Faculty of Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

The study will focus on the impact of a central digital pathology lab on cancer care in Kenya, using retinoblastoma as proof-of-principle. Specimens will be processed and scanned on a digital slide scanner. Analysis will be performed using a standard form developed by the Kenyan National Retinoblastoma Strategy group, made available online with the digital microscopic image via specialized software. The digitization of pathology is quickly becoming standard of care worldwide, and surpasses the barrier of distance between clinics and specialized centers. Pathologists and referring physicians will consult online in real-time, to ensure uptake of results. A business model will ensure low-cost/free service for families with financial difficulties, and paid service for others, and support sustainability to expand across Africa.

As part of the design of Phase II, additional projects in Pathology Quality Control and Knowledge Translation for cancer capacity building in Kenya, were conducted by University of Nairobi exchange students, Barclay Obiero and Joshua Munywoki. An implementation analysis of Phase I was undertaken by student Seemi Qaiser, and this is currently under review.

Learn more at http://lab.research.sickkids.ca/dimaras/

Project collaborators include The University of Nairobi.