Our Research

The UCI was originally founded as a research institution, and its commitment to research remains a core component of its mission. Since opening in 1967, the UCI has an established record of excellence in research. This legacy includes providing the first description of Burkitt lymphoma and pioneering the first delivery of combination chemotherapy for treatment of cancer anywhere in the world.
Today, the UCI remains active in several areas of research, and our work emphasizes cancers with particular relevance to Uganda and other resource-limited settings. Areas of focus include HIV-associated malignancies and infection-related cancers, such as Kaposi sarcoma and Burkitt lymphoma. We are also engaged in several clinical trials, including innovative studies on the efficacy of oral chemotherapy in cancer treatment.Our ultimate goal is for our research to bring the benefits of science to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of persons with cancer in Africa and around the world.
The UCI serves as a research and training site for students and faculty of the Makerere University School of Medicine and it partners with a wide array of investigators from Uganda and across the globe. These partnerships include the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and the AIDS Malignancy Consortium.
Examples of recent and ongoing research include:
• Evaluation of factors associated with the progression from chronic infection with human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) to the development of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in Ugandan adults.
• Description of how cancer causing viruses (HHV-8, EBV) are transmitted among Ugandan children.
• Randomized control trial to determine the effect of omega-3 (fish oil) supplements on the control of HHV-8 and HIV infections.
• Evaluation of the effect of HHV-8 and HIV co-infection on the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy.
• Exploration of host and HHV-8 viral biomarkers to predict response and treatment outcomes among Ugandan adults with KS who are initiating cancer therapy.
• Randomized control trial of bleomycin/vincristine vs paclitaxel in the treatment of HIV-associated KS.


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