Sierra Leonean researcher Sandra Mosujusu may have made a scientific breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer.
Mosujusu, an undergraduate student of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria, is working on using macromolecular technology to develop a biodegradable polymer material that could be used as an alternative for the treatment of breast cancer in the near future.
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The AUST is one of 10 African Centers of Excellence (ACE) projects. The centers are funded by the World Bank as part of efforts to encourage cutting-edge research in the beneficiary institutions to address the developmental problems faced by the African continent.
Mosujusa’s work was made public Tuesday, when the World Bank Education Director Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi and his team visited AUST as a part of an assessment tour of the ACE project, reports the Tribune.
According to Mosujusa, she has focused her research on the triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive sub-type of breast cancer common with Black women or women of African ancestry.
“My research is actually centered on the development of biodegradable polymers for treatment of breast cancer.
“I will be focusing on triple negative breast cancer, which is actually the aggressive sub-type of breast cancer that is common with women from African ancestry.
“I believe there is a bright future for Africa, and as a woman, there is much more we can do if we are empowered,” Mosujusa said.
Studies in the United States have shown that though the incidence of breast cancer is significantly lower for African-American women when compared to Caucasian-American women, there is a higher breast cancer mortality rate among the African-American community.
Black women are more likely than White women to be diagnosed with the triple-negative cancer, which is resistant to treatment. They are also less likely to develop a form of breast cancer that is responsive to therapies.
A 2012 report revealed that Black women were 42 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than White women, and medical experts say a combination of difficult social conditions and chemical exposures may be a factor.