Kenyan Doctors Discover Cure For Early Stages Of Cervical Cancer – A Timely Present For The International Women’s Day
On Thursday, the local Kenyan newspapers ran a story that surprised many in a good way. The news was on a groundbreaking medical discovery made by Kenyan doctors working in collaboration with doctors from Britain. The headline read that the team of doctors had discovered a cure that can treat early stages of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is responsible for the death of millions of women across the globe and this new medical discovery could save millions of lives. Yesterday the CEO of Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Lily Koros Tare had the following to say at a press conference, “The message today is not just about mourning and despair, we stand surrounded by heroes who have identified a solution for cervical cancer”. She said this as she was introducing the genius team of doctors who worked tirelessly to make this possible. Given their discovery came just day early before the celebration of International Women’s Day, one could easily think that this great discovery is a special gift to the women that will be unwrapped during the special day for women.
The team of doctors led by Dr. Ian Hampson from Manchester University in UK and with Dr. Innocent O. Maranga as a consultant at the hospital ran a screening on 820 women at the KNH, and selecting 40 patients suffering from cervical cancer. Dr. Maranga said, “We put them on the HIV drug lopinavir for two weeks which they had to apply in the birth canal on their own at home. This was for a period of two weeks while we kept monitoring them. The results were amazing with a cure rate of almost 90% confirmed after three months”.
Conventionally the lopinavir drug is use to mitigate HIV patients condition by ingesting it orally, but in order for it to be used to treat cervical cancer as explained by Dr. Maranga the drug has to be taken in higher doses which are actually toxic. Thus they devised another way of applying it into the body, by using the birth canal. Initial lab test done showed the drug effectively killed the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is the leading cause of majority of cervical cancer cases. The first trial on human was conducted for the first time by KNH and the result have showed it cures cervical cancer in its early stages of development.
Although the doctors are still on test-run basis with the cervical cure, they are moving forward to Phase II and then afterwards to Phase III trials. In order to do this, they would require 5,000 women participants. Prof. Peter Gichangi from the University of Nairobi said, “If all goes well in these proposed trials, we should have a product in the market in about seven years time”. Some section of the media asked the team of doctors why they waited for about two weeks to announce to the general public about this discovery, when Manchester University had already announced this information in Britain.
Dr. Gichangi replied, “We are in this together. In fact KNH and the University of Nairobi are enjoined in the patent of this process.” The doctors however categorically stated that their discovery is only effective in early stages of cervical cancer development, and thus emphasized on the need for women to go for routine cervical cancer screening. Dr. Maranga said that this ground breaking medical study is going to be published soon in The Lancet Oncology Journal.