It is called Moza-BC, an acronym that results from Mozambican Breast Cancer, and is the first longitudinal study of women with breast cancer in Mozambique. The cohort began in 2015, with the three main central hospitals in Mozambique (Maputo, Beira and Nampula) and in collaboration with the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP), to help fill the lack of information on the distribution of breast cancer subtypes, treatments available and estimates for disease survival in the country.
Over 260 Mozambican women, diagnosed with breast cancer, between 2015 and 2017, have been followed by the research team. So far, researchers have found, for example, that almost a quarter of women were diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (the most aggressive and lethal), many are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease and, three years after diagnosis, half of the patients had died.
Moreover, they showed that the implementation of a multidisciplinary tumor board for breast cancer improves the overall survival of women with early breast cancer, even after adjusting for known prognostic factors. Importantly, they demonstrated that this intervention is also cost-effective.
This cohort also generated data regarding women with HIV infection and breast cancer.
These data was pooled with other African and North American studies and resulted in the publication of a meta-analysis showing that women with HIV are diagnosed at a later stage and have a worse survival, compared with women without HIV.
This study also investigated, for the first time, the role of different factors in the risk of developing each of the breast cancer subtypes among women from Africa. Additionally, it has assessed the cost of the diagnosis and treatment of early breast cancer in Mozambique, compared to Portugal.