"The global burden of cancer is considerable. The majority of cancer cases and more than 70% of cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Based on current population trends, global cancer mortality is expected to double by the year 2030. The problem is magnified in Botswana, which has the second highest infection rate of AIDS/HIV in the world. As HIV patients are beginning to live longer with effective therapy, healthcare providers are seeing a surge of cancer cases. More than 40% of new cancer cases in Botswana are due to HIV."


Bruce Chabner, MD and Aparna Parikh, MD, Co-Directors, Program for Enhanced Training in Cancer (POETIC), hosted a special reception in celebration of the Program for Enhanced Training in Cancer (POETIC) on Thursday, May 8th at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at MGH.  The POETIC fellowship exchange program, conducted in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Cancer Center and Lowell Schnipper, MD, trains clinical oncology fellows from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Ocean Road Cancer Center in Tanzania.  Over $40,000 was raised to support these highly qualified physicians to further develop their clinical oncology skills.  Read more about POETIC and support its work here.


Tumor Board:   The March 17th Tumor Board to discuss "A 49 year old man with large left leg mass facing amputation" was cancelled so as to prevent large gatherings in our Gaborone and Francistown locations.  We will discuss this challenging case at our next tumor board scheduled for Tuesday, April 21st.  This may be an all-remote tumor board.  Please email rostrauss@mgh.harvard.edu if you would like to receive updates.

Usual tumor board locations:

MGH location: Cox 6 Conference Room; Francistown location: Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital, Conference Room, Admin Block 1st Floor; Gaborone location: Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute, PMH grounds, Conference Room, Ground Floor.

All are welcome.

Please email BOTSOGO@partners.org to be added to our mailing list.


Training & Care

Supporting the development of clinical capacity through training and direct patient care a full-time MGH oncologist and regular rotation of senior clinicians.

Tumour Board

Participatory internet-based conferences including several sites in Botswana and the US focused on care of current patients in Botswana.


Conducting rigorous research to inform the advancement of oncology and HIV care in Botswana and the region.


The BOTSwana Oncology Global Outreach program (BOTSOGO) works to improve access to quality cancer care in Botswana through a growing collaboration between physicians and other healthcare professionals in Boston and in Botswana. BOTSOGO, which means “health” in Botswana’s primary language, connects Mass General Cancer Center, the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Botswana’s cancer caregivers and the Botswana government. The group’s ultimate goal is to improve access to quality cancer care in Botswana by educating the Botswana population, training future generations of cancer caregivers and conducting vital clinical research.