JUL 14, 2020 7:00 AM PDT

Cancer Genomics: What We Can Learn from Africa

Speaker
  • Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Division of Population Sciences, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    Biography
      Dr. Timothy Rebbeck is the Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is founding director of the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and leads the Cancer Outreach and Engagement activities for the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He leads molecular epidemiology studies to address problems of cancer etiology, prevention, outcomes, health disparities, and global health. His work has led to an understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of breast, prostate, skin, endometrial and ovarian cancers as well as interventions intended to reduce the burden of these cancers in individuals and populations. He founded and leads international cancer consortia that study risk and outcomes of 1) cancer in BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 2) prostate cancer in men of African descent in North America and Africa.

    Abstract
    DATE:  July 14, 2020
    TIME:   7:00 am PDT, 10:00 am EDT
     
    This is the second topic in the webinar series on ‘Predictive Genomics for Population & Personalized Health’.
     
    Cancer is a growing burden in Africa.  By 2040, it is estimated that cancer incidence will more than double in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that more than twice as many cancer deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries compared to upper-income countries.  While the majority of cancer cases in the US and Europe are diagnosed at an early (treatable) stage, the majority of African cancer cases are and will likely continue to be diagnosed at late (often untreatable) stages.  Therefore, cancer represents a significant and under-appreciated public health problem in Africa.  We have developed the Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate (MADCaP, www.madcapnetwork.org) to address this emerging public health issue.  MADCaP is undertaking research to 1) evaluate African ancestral relationships among African populations, 2) understand the relationship of ancestry with cancer etiology, and 3) understand the role of genetic and non-genetic factors in cancer etiology and aggressiveness.  We have established the laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological infrastructure to undertake these studies.  We have demonstrated that ancestry and candidate genes are associated with genetic susceptibility to cancer.  Therefore, optimal prediction of cancer risk and outcomes may require race-specific marker panels including polygenic risk scores. By expanding the research infrastructure and capabilities of these consortia, we will address an important and increasing cancer problem in Africa, and we will build capacity for research in an underserved continent. In addition, the increase in knowledge about genomic diversity will inform cancer risk, prevention, and treatment for all populations. 
     
    Learning Objectives:
    • Review the role of genetic and non-genetic factors in cancer etiology and aggressiveness
    • Design content modules in a population-specific array
    • Develop polygenic risk scores (PRS) for a specific disease in a specific population
     
    Webinars will be available for unlimited on-demand viewing after live event.
     
    LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.

     


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