Aids Cancer Specimen Resource Kenya (ACSR K)(P184/6/2009)

The project is housed at the department of Human Pathology, College of Health Sciences, and University of Nairobi. The project is funded by NIH as an affiliate sub-site to the Midregion ACSR (MR ACSR) of Ohio State University.

Aids Cancer Specimen Resource Kenya (ACSR K) dates from August 2009. The project is housed at the department of Human Pathology, College of Health Sciences, and University of Nairobi. The project is funded by NIH as an affiliate sub-site to the Midregion ACSR (MR ACSR) of Ohio State University. The project PI is Dr. Emily A Rogena assisted by Dr. Joseph R. Ndungu. In the team are two technologists, John Kairu and Willis Ochuk. The library and health records are managed by Veronica Kimilu. Our IT specialist is Edwin Adol.

The ACSR-K has effectively been operational for the last three years. The first year was spent in developing the proposal memorandum of understanding (MOU) and all the necessary collaborative agreements such as materials transfer agreement (MTA). Data collection and implementation of the objectives was started in 2009 to date.

This sub site was set up with the main objective of being a resource to cancer related NCI/NIH IRB approved programs in the area of human Bio-specimens to improve pathology diagnosis, bio-sample acquisition and processing, testing and archival storage of preserved tissues. This objective will be achieved by:


Establishing and maintaining a Cancer Tissue Bio-repository within the University of Nairobi (UoN), Department of Pathology that is compliant with the guiding principles of that institution and as defined by the US NCI Best Practices for Bio-specimen Resources and approved and monitored by the UoN and approved by the UoN IRB.

Coordinating with Department of Pathology surgical and forensic tissue archives to build capacity to identify and preserve cancer tissue resources as well as HIV/AIDS related cancer tissue resources.

Working in consortium with NCI/NIH funded, approved, clinical trials, epidemiology studies and clinical/diagnostic tissue procurement opportunities at Kenyatta National Hospital and referring hospitals to acquire and maintain high quality preserved tissues/smear samples.

Improving the preservation quality of malignant tissue, related bio specimens such as cell smears and associated minimal clinical data to support disease diagnosis for best patient care, to support cancer specific clinical treatment trials and to support a broad range of approved, funded translational cancer research.

Working with other Kenyan clinical trial projects and medical care facilities to collectively serve diverse scientific disciplines and preserve bio specimens representative of the HIV/cancer epidemic, geography, risk groups, gender, age and minority or ethnicity within Kenya.

Leveraging the resources of MR ACSR to support all pathology processes that serve Kenya’s national cancer initiative, patient diagnosis and treatment objectives including innovative methodologies for tissue processing to increase DNA, RNA and protein recovery and to limit infection risks to histopathology personnel.

Deploying tissue microarrays (TMA) and use innovative computer based, Internet deployed, image management systems to specifically improve pathology tissue processing, histotechnology and histopathology diagnostic efficiency in support of the physicians and patients of Kenya.


To date the project has achieved up to 60% of the objectives. There is an archive that has identified Aids related cancers for the period 2000 to date.These have all been sorted and typed.

The project has been able to establish a state of the art histopathology unit and immunohistochemistry bench. In addition we have been able to host several local and regional training in lymphoma diagnosis and immunohistochemical technics.

Currently the Kenyatta National hospital patients have access to affordable immunohistochemical studies and until recently these tests were out of reach for most Kenyan patients.

The resources at the site are available to scientists for use in molecular diagnosis of neoplasms. We envisage that in the next two to three years the site shall be providing a platform for innovative research and training in pathology in East Africa and sub Saharan Africa. The Mmed postgraduate students are currently benefiting from ACSR grant from NIH support, in cancer research and publication.





Prof. Ayer L and prof. kikeri N training pathologists

on lymphoma diagnosis at the site - June 2011













Dr.Rogena E ,Dr.Ndun'gu J and John Kairu

preparing a TMA block at the site Lab


Prof.Isaac Kibwage I,Principal CHS receiving a new Tissue processor for the site Lab from Prof.Ayers L

Start Year: