A female student of the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Sandra Musujusu, has developed an alternative treatment which might lead to a lasting solution in the treatment of breast cancer prevalent among women around the world.
This was made known on Tuesday, July 6, 2017, in Abuja when the World Bank Education Director, Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi with his team visited the University as part of his assessment tour of the 10 African Centres of Excellence (ACE).
The World Bank had committed about $10 billion for the ACE project in Nigeria, as part of efforts to encourage the conduct of cutting-edge research and specialisation of the beneficiaries institutions in specific development problems faced in Nigeria and indeed the African continent.
AUST is hosting one of the Centres of Excellence, known as Pan African Material Institute (PAMI), with a research focus on electrical power, disease detection, and treatment.
Out of 19 African Centres of Excellence, 10 Nigerian tertiary institutions won slots to churn out special research works that could compete effectively with global standards.
The ACE universities include Redeemers University, Mowe; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos, Jos; University of Benin and African University of Science and Technology, Abuja.
Others are University of Port-Harcourt; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Bayero University, Kano; Benue State University, Makurdi; and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Sandra Musujusu’s research, using macromolecular science is aimed at developing bio-degradable polymer material which could be used as an alternative for the treatment of breast cancer in the near future. She revealed that her research focuses on triple negative breast cancer which is actually the aggressive sub-type of breast cancer that is common with women of African ancestry.
According to the young lady, there is a bright future for Africa, and there is much more that can be done if only the women can be empowered. The Sierra-Leonia national, Sandra Musujusu conducted the research under the sponsorship of the Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI).
Contrary to the above report, the management of the African University of Science and Technology later disclaimed the purported feat achieved by its student.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Pulse, the Media Relations Manager of the University, Atulomah Obioha, debunked the reports saying that the student was misquoted as she has not developed any cure for cancer and that the institution has done all it could to correct the news.
Mr. Obioha discouraged pressmen from interviewing the student explaining that there is no need because she has not even commenced her research work on an alternative treatment for breast cancer, which she would travel to the United States to begin.
Continuing, he said that Musujusu has been barred by the University from speaking with the press “until we release information on this matter on the school website” in order not to create more problems. He also revealed that the lady would begin the research in the next one or two months being August or September 2017.
Obioha, therefore, reiterated that Sandra Musujusu has not started her research yet. “In an interview, she only said ‘I will be commencing…’ and the media went ahead to say she has already discovered the cure,” he said.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumour (a collection of cancer cells) which arises from the cells of the breast. Even though it predominantly occurs in women, it can also affect men.
There are many risk factors that increase the possibility of developing breast cancer but although some of these risk factors are known, the exact cause of breast cancer or how these factors lead to the development of a cancer cell is unknown.
Normal breast cells become cancerous because of mutations in the DNA, and although some of these are inherited, most DNA changes related to breast cells are acquired during one’s life.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women around the world. In 2012, there were 1.7 million new cases worldwide, according to World Cancer Research Fund International.
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the United States alone, the highest mortality rate is found among black women with breast cancer than any other race. The ailment is also the number two major cause of cancer death among black women.