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Temidayo Fadelu, MD, MPH
Instructor in Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Physician, Center of Global Cancer Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO
Goal: To understand barriers to breast cancer care in patients in rural Rwanda and test intervention strategies to improve outcomes.
Impact: Rwandan women with breast cancer have a high-risk of dying from their disease. This is due, in large part, to delays that occur after diagnosis and staging. Dr. Fadelu is working to understand how patients’ perspectives affect delays in care and identify effective strategies to ensure patients complete their scheduled care to improve breast cancer outcomes.
What’s next: Dr. Fadelu will conduct detailed surveys of patients to understand the underlying barriers to continuum of care. She will take advantage of the ubiquitous use of mobile phones in Rwanda to pilot a text-messaging intervention to help patients stay on track with their scheduled treatment appointments.
In spite of national insurance and externally supported comprehensive cancer care and patient support, there continues to be a high death rate for breast cancer in Rwanda. This is largely attributable to significant delays during the continuum of care—the time after diagnosis and staging. Dr. Fadelu is seeking to understand the barriers to care and to implement effective strategies to reduce delays and improve breast cancer outcomes.
Full Research Summary
Research area: Improving delivery of breast cancer care in Rwanda by removing barriers that cause delays in the care continuum.
Impact: Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Rwandan women, with prominent delays in care and a death rate of over 50 percent. Delays in care are a main cause of poor outcomes in low- and middle-income countries like Rwanda. Dr. Fadelu is conducting studies to understand the underlying causes of delays in a system where healthcare and support are free to the patient. Her goal is to implement interventions to improve outcomes for women with breast cancer.
Current investigation: Dr. Fadelu and his colleagues will conduct a detailed survey of patients undergoing treatment. In addition, he will leverage Rwanda’s proliferation of mobile phones use to test text-message interventions. The results from Dr. Fadelu’s Conquer Cancer Foundation study supported by BCRF may lead to a larger study to evaluate the effectiveness of text-message communication reminders as a method of decreasing delays in cancer care.
Temidayo Fadelu, MD, MPH is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has an academic appointment as Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School; his clinical appointment is in the Division of Oncology Hospital Medicine, and he is a member of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine within the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana Farber.
His research interests lie at the intersection of breast cancer and global health services research. He collaborates with researchers in Haiti and Rwanda to identify underlying reasons for breast cancer outcome disparities in global health settings, and to rigorously implement effective mitigating interventions. Dr. Fadelu grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the US to attend college at Baylor University. He was in the university’s Honors Program and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. He earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. His medical school thesis evaluated “brain-drain” and migration patterns of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa to higher income countries.
He completed his internal medicine residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was in the global health track. After residency, he moved to Rwanda for two years, where he worked as clinical and programmatic implementation lead for a rural oncology program based at Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in northern Rwanda. He coordinated the implementation of pathology and palliative care services as well as an electronic medical records platform to facilitate evaluation of patient outcomes. Dr. Fadelu subsequently completed his fellowship training in medical oncology at Dana-Farber, during which he earned a Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
BCRF Investigator Since