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Gene Causing Breast Cancer In Nigerian Women Identified

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A multinational research team has identified the genes responsible for inherited breast cancer in Nigerian women, according to the study published in the August 21, 2018 issue of the Journal for Clinical Oncology.

“This is the first study to use high-throughput genomic analysis of African women,” said study author Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, Walter L. Palmer, Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Chicago.

“Based on state-of-the-art genomic technologies, two things were clear,” added co-author Mary-Claire King, PhD, American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. “Risks to Nigerian women who carry mutations in breast cancer genes are higher than risks to women in the U.S. with mutations in the same genes. And inherited breast cancer plays a bigger role in the total occurrence of breast cancer in Nigeria compared to the U.S.”

According to a report by www.news-medical.net, the study enrolled 1,136 women with invasive breast cancer and 997 controls, women of similar ages and heritage who did not have breast cancer.

The disease was far more advanced at diagnosis than in the US, with 86 per cent of the patients who were fully evaluated diagnosed at either stage 3 or stage 4.

Almost half (46 per cent) of the patients were diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (tumours that lack estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptors).

This is an aggressive breast cancer subtype, likely to have a poor prognosis, even in wealthy countries.

For their study of “Inherited Breast Cancer in Nigerian Women,” the authors sequenced 25 genes associated with increased risk of breast cancer and identified all damaging mutations in each of those genes.

They found that one out of eight breast cancers in the study was caused by an inherited mutation in one of four of these genes.

Mutations in BRCA1 (7 per cent of patients) and BRCA2 (4 per cent) were the most common, followed by PALB2 (1 per cent) and TP53 (0.4 per cent).

Patients with BRCA1 or TP53 mutations were diagnosed at younger ages than women with other mutations.

The mean age at diagnosis for all cases in the study was 47.5 years, but the BRCA1 carriers were diagnosed at an average age of 42.6 years.

Patients with TP53 mutations were diagnosed even earlier, at an average age of 32.8 years.

“Genomic sequencing to identify women at extremely high risk of breast cancer could be a highly innovative approach to tailored risk management and life-saving interventions,” the authors wrote. Given the limited treatment resources available in this setting, “prevention and early detection services should target these highest-risk women.”

Following up on the study, the Chicago-Ibadan team has already developed a risk-prediction model for breast cancer in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African women, who are, on average, more than 10 years younger when diagnosed than American women.

This predictive model can identify individuals at high risk of breast cancer, tailor surveillance and suggest risk-reduction strategies.

There is an urgent need to address “widening global disparities in breast cancer mortality that disproportionately impact women of African ancestry,” the authors wrote.

Breast cancer among both African American and Nigerian women is more frequently triple-negative than in other populations for complex reasons that remain poorly understood.

Given the young ages at diagnosis in Nigeria, focusing on genetically high-risk women could, the authors suggest “substantially reduce premature mortality from breast cancer.”

“It may seem paradoxical to apply the most recent technology in severely resource-limited settings,” the authors add, “but in fact, the solution fits the problem… Women with an extremely high risk of breast cancer due to mutations in these genes can be identified inexpensively and unambiguously, and offered interventions to reduce cancer risk.”

“Coordinating our team of clinicians and scientists and community elders in Nigeria was no small feat, but we got the job done despite resource constraints,” said Adeyinka Falusi, PhD Professor of Hematology and L’OREAL/UNESCO Laureate, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

“As the premier institution in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan remains committed to deploying science and technology to improve the health of Africans on the continent and throughout the diaspora,” Falusi said. “Lessons learned in Nigeria can be transferred back to low resource settings in the US and other countries.

African and African American women are more likely than women of other ancestries to develop and to die from triple-negative breast cancer.

The Nigerian Breast Cancer Study, based in Ibadan, South West Nigeria, has been in the field for more than 20 years.

During this period, breast cancer incidence throughout the country has steadily increased.

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UBA’s REDTV To Light Up #UBAMarketPlace 2019 With Creative Panel Sessions, Fashion Shows, Cinema, Concert

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Youths and adults alike are in for a great time at the #UBAMarketplace2019 as UBA’s award-winning online network, REDTV has lined up a number of exciting acts to keep visitors and participants entertained during the two-day event which will take place on July 26th and 27th 2019.

The UBAMarketplace2019 will be held on the sidelines of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum – the largest gathering of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa.

The over 20,000 expected guests will be treated to a lot of entertainment, panel sessions, fashion, fun, comedy, relaxation and will have the unique opportunity to meet with some of their favourite stars and celebrities.

Africa’s star boy Wizkid will sit with UBA’s GMD, Kennedy Uzoka, in a fireside chat with the theme ‘Stars & Suits: Afropop meets High Finance’ as Richard Mofe Damijo, the top Nollywood icon, will sit in a movie panel session with Cynthia Nassardine, Cote D’ivoire’s darling; top Movie producer/director, Tunde Kelani to discuss the theme ‘The Big Picture: Business of film making’ and how entrepreneurs from Africa can benefit from the enterprise. The panel will be moderated by REDTV’s Executive Producer and Group Director for Communications at UBA, Bola Atta.  

 The music industry will not be left out at the UBA marketplace as Dj Cuppy, Dj Neptune and Pheelz the Producer will discuss on the theme ‘Booth to Bank: How the beat becomes the profit’.

Uzoka who spoke about the event, stated ‘UBA has always been at the forefront of entrepreneurship across Africa, undertaking many projects aimed at contributing to and supporting Africa’s growth and economic integration. The birth of the UBA marketplace and this entrepreneurial fair is a testament to our commitment to African SMEs’

Uzoka added that with the fair, UBA seeks to touch base with small business owners and to continue to positively affect the lives of entrepreneurs doing business in its countries of operations and beyond’.  “I think everyone realizes that we need to prioritize the private sector. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and youths. This is the driving factor and the major reason why we are organising an event of this magnitude’ he said. 

Other side attractions at the Redzone will be the screening of the Lion King Movie and Bling Lagosians; fashion shows; treasure hunts, Kiddies corner as well as a Founder’s Day pitch event, where beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation will be presented a platform to pitch their businesses with a grand prize of a grant, courtesy of UBA.

REDTV is UBA’s dynamic online lifestyle channel that puts the spotlight on Africa with a distinct global appeal. Its award-winning series, The Men’s Club Season 2, is currently airing on YouTube.

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U.S. Imposes Visa Restrictions On Nigerians Undermining Democracy

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The U.S. Government has imposed visa restrictions on “individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process”.

A spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, Ms. Morgan Ortagus, who announced this in a statement on Tuesday, said the action applied to those responsible for election-related violence.

Ortagus said the unidentified individuals had “operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights”.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 39 persons died in violence related to the last general elections in the country.

The action, according to the spokesperson, is in fulfillment of the U.S. government’s earlier promise to consider sanctions against anti-democratic forces, including organisers of election-related violence in the country.

“In a Jan. 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.

“To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights,” she said.

The spokesperson emphasised that the restrictions targeted at specific individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly-elected government.

She explained that the decision reflected the Department’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government in its anti-corruption crusade and efforts to strengthen democracy, accountability and respect for human rights.

“The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy.

“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes.

“As Nigeria marks the 20th anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations.

“We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process,” the spokesperson added.

(NAN)

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BREAKING: Buhari Release 43-Man Ministerial List, Nominates Fashola, Amaechi, Aregbesola, Akpabio, Keyamo, Saraki, Others [ See List]

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President Muhammadu Buhari has finally forwarded the list of ministerial nominees to Senate for confirmation.

There are 43 nominees by the President.

On the list announced by Senate President Ahmed Lawan during plenary on Tuesday morning are former ministers Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Geoffrey Onyeama, Lai Mohammed and Chris Ngige.

Also on the list are former Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, former Benue Governor George Akume, former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva and former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Senator Gbemisola Saraki
Mohammed Musa Bello
Senator Godswill Akpabio
Chris Ngige
Sharon Ikpeazu
Adamu Adamu
Ambassador Maryam Katagun
Timipre Sylva
Senator George Akume
Mustapha Baba Shehuri
Festus Keyamo
Clement Ike
Richard Adeniyi Adebayo
Geoffrey Onyeama
Ali Pantami
Emeka Nwajubo
Suleiman Adamu
Zainab Ahamed
Muhammad Mahmood
Sabo Nano
Hadi Sirika
Abubakar Malami
Rahmatu Tijjani
Lai Mohammed
Olorunnibe Mamora
Babatunde Fashola SAN
Mohammed H. Abdullahi
Zubair Dada
Tayo Alasoadura
Rauf Aregbesola
Sunday Dare
Paullen Talen
Rotimi Amaechi
Sale Mamman
Abubakar D. Aliyu
Sadiya Umar Faruk
Ikechukwu Ogar

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