Welcome to the “Africa and Cancer” Channel!

The African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) is proud to collaborate with Nature Portfolio to launch the “Africa and Cancer” Channel . The primary goal of this channel is to facilitate collaborative cancer research programs and research capacities in Africa.

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As has been described by many individuals, cancer in Africa is like a running train, and stopping a running train is challenging. You have to consider the speed of the train, the distance that it is travelling and then the brake. In this case, the most important thing is the brake.  We need the brake to absorb the energy from the train to slow or stop it. Actionable research constitute the brake for the running train of cancer in Africa. There is a critical need for an African-driven and African-led research enterprise that will: (1) effectively address cancer across the cancer care continuum, including prevention, screening, detection, treatment, survivorship and advocacy; (2) focus on translational research from basic science discovery to early translation, late translation, dissemination and adoption; (3) employ multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches; and (4) fully incorporate the principles of community engagement research, especially Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The latter is especially important as the patient and/or the community is usually the reason for cancer research and thus should be at the center of cancer research.

 According to the World Health Organization GLOBOCAN data, Africa will experience the greatest increase in cancer burden from 2020 to 2040 with an estimated increase of 89.1%. Latin America and Caribbean is second with 65.6% increase. We can choose to watch the cancer burden of cancer in Africa increase steeply to almost double the 2020 incidence by 2040 or we can start building a braking system that we can apply to stop it in its tracks. The “Africa and Cancer” Channel provides a forum for us to discuss the research capacities and activities that will slow down cancer in Africa, stop cancer in Africa and keep stationary cancer in Africa. It is a forum that will foster building an Afrocentric braking system. We look forward to your contributions.


  1. Ferlay J, Ervik M, Lam F, Colombet M, Mery L, Piñeros M, Znaor A, Soerjomataram I, Bray F. Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2020). Available from: https://gco.iarc.fr/today, accessed [28 June 2021].

Prof. Folakemi Odedina, PhD
A/Director, Center for Health Equity & Community Engagement Research (CHCR)
Director, CHCR Global Health Equity Initiatives
Mayo Clinic, USA
Chair, AORTIC Research Committee
 Prof. Folakemi Odedina is PI and Founding Program Director of the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC). For 28 years, her research, education, training and community outreach activities have exclusively focused on addressing health disparities in disadvantaged and underserved communities globally. As a translational behavioral scientist, her research program focuses on the predictors of health disparities and cost-effective, community-based behavioral interventions to improve the health of disadvantaged populations, especially Black men globally. Her lab employs community engagement, community data and technology to develop tailored and targeted programs focused on improving health at the individual, community and health system levels.

Prof. Folakemi Odedina

Professor and CHCR Assoc. Center Director, Mayo Clinic


Great piece Prof Odedina.  Indeed its time to stop cancer in its trucks in Africa