Cancer in Africa: The Challenge and Pathology as the Solution


4:00 pm

UCSF Mission Bay Campus
Mission Hall 1407
550 16th Street, San Francisco

This history of malaria in Africa includes a distressing chapter (of nearly 50 years) in which all fevers are assumed to be malaria and treated thusly. This led to the spread of antimalarial resistance as well as many deaths from mistreatment of other diseases. One person with a backpack full of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and artemisinin combination therapy can walk into a village today and mortality rates will drop from malaria. Cancer, unlike malaria, HIV and TB, and definitely in contrast to other non-communicable diseases, is a problem of very complex identity. Consider the backpack for malaria but imagine three large transport trucks and a bus of medical personnel for each village. Diagnostic pathology must be in place for the physician to provide accurate and beneficial care and to create a population with a true epidemiology of cancer. This epidemiology informs the ministers of health and finance of what they are facing and allows for planning prevention, screening, education, training of new doctors, procurement of medications, establishment of radiation services, and the ability to actually impact mortality. Although pathology is only one the necessary moving parts for cancer treatment, the argument can be made that “tissue is the issue”  at the core of cancer care, creating the foundation around which many other moving parts can be installed.  

Dr. Danny Milner, MD, MSc, Chief Medical Officer, ASCP

Dr. Milner completed his MD at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2000 and his residency/fellowship in Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology/Microbiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2005. Before joining ASCP, Dr. Milner spent 10 years as faculty at Harvard where he taught pathology, microbiology, and infectious disease; was the primary lead for infectious disease consultations in AP/CP; and was the recipient of numerous research grants in the areas of malaria and HIV. In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Milner began working in Africa in 1997 as a medical student and has built an international reputation as an expert in cerebral malaria. In parallel with this, he has been heavily involved in pathology capacity building in many countries and, most notably, lead the team that built an anatomic pathology laboratory in Rwanda and Haiti for advance cancer diagnostics. In his current role, he services as the director for the Center for Global Health at ASCP, leads all PEPFAR activities with ASCP, as leads the Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa Initiative. Dr. Milner is the author of over 100 publications and has presented national and internationally on his work in more than 10 countries.

HDFCCC Global Cancer Lecture Program