1 October 2020
October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month
Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, with 840,000 new cases in 2018 alone. Until 2016, Egypt had the highest rate of hepatitis C infection in the world and second highest rate of liver cancer in 2018 (World Cancer Research Fund).
Supporting liver cancer researchers through the Newton-Mosharafa Fund
The Newton-Mosharafa Fund is £50 million, seven-year science and innovation partnership between the UK and Egypt, bringing together the British and Egyptian scientific research and innovation sectors to find joint solutions to the challenges facing Egypt in economic development and social welfare.
Egypt faces significant risk factors for adult primary liver cancer due to high prevalence of hepatitis B and C, and cirrhosis. Liver cancer patients represent 23 per cent of total registered cancer cases in Egypt.
Through the support of the Newton-Mosharafa Fund, Egyptian researchers - both at the individual and institutional level - are boosting efforts in the detection, diagnosis and reduction of liver cancer rates. Its funded PhD programme enables Egyptian doctoral-level scholars to benefit from placements at leading UK research institutions.
Shifting the paradigm of early detection of liver cancer
With a medical degree focused on early detection, Alzhraa Alkhatib was able to further specialise her training thanks to the Newton-Mosharafa PhD programme. Alzhraa undertook a one-year placement at the UK’s Imperial College - a leading centre for cancer research - working with some of the most experienced scientists in the field.
Alzhraa’s journey did not stop there; this opportunity qualified her to work on a collaborative project funded by the Newton-Mosharafa programme focusing on the use of novel biomarker for diagnosis and early detection of liver cancer – a shared vital research topic between Egypt’s National Liver institute and Imperial College.
The result of this joint effort was very promising for a practical, cost-effective and easy-to-use diagnostic test, expected to lead to a paradigm shift in early detection of liver cancer globally.
Finding biomarkers to halt the progression of liver cancer