South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre


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 About us  

Unit Director: Professor Lynette Denny

The Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre seeks  to create a multidisciplinary, transversal and translational research agenda that moves from the ‘bedside to the bench’. We hope to ensure that basic scientists and clinicians work together on the many challenges faced by our patients with gynaecological malignancies, the most common and most important being cervical cancer. It is also an important goal to work in collaboration with our colleagues in East London to enhance research capacity and consequently  support our respective units in addressing the relevant burden of disease.

The grant, which will run for five years,  amounts to  R2.5 million per year (minus vat) with a 5% increment yearly depending on funding. The SAMRC expects a high output of publications in high impact journals, however, establishing the necessary infrastructure will take some time. Two of the most pressing and prioritised areas are the establishment of a biobank and a robust data-capturing system. Through the work of Dr Leon Van Wijk we have a very functional and detailed database of all women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer which has been operational since 1984.

We also want to create the infrastructure that will allow for real time data capturing, research nurses to help manage research patients, including consent and an appropriate physical space with proper signage.

We have set ourselves an ambitious scope of work which includes:

  • Establishing a registry to more accurately reflect the burden of disease
  • Cervical cancer prevention by testing new point of care diagnostic tests and different algorithms to cytology based programmes
  • Monitoring and evaluation of HPV vaccination programmes
  • Developing new and experimental HPV vaccines
  • Investigating therapeutic HPV vaccinations
  • Targeting biomarkers of disease progression and regression
  • Models for effective palliative care in resource limited environments
  • Investigation into the multiple reasons for late presentation of cervical cancer
  • Use of Mobile Technology to improve follow-up of clients with cervical cancer precursor lesions
  • The impact of HIV infection on the clinic-pathological prognostic factors for recurrence in both and non-HPV related VIN and vulvar cancer: and the immunological prognostic factors in both cell phenotype and function

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Last updated:
29 February, 2016
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