21 November 2014

Tygerberg opens HIV biorepository

Stellenbosch University has opened a biorepository where specimens for HIV-related cancers will be stored for research.


A multi-million rand biorepository where specimens for HIV-related cancers will be stored for research has been opened by Stellenbosch University.

Available free of charge

It was opened at Tygerberg Hospital by the university's division of anatomical pathology, spokeswoman Mandi Barnard said in a statement.

The facility would process and store specimens and make them available free of charge to African researchers and their collaborators.

"One of the goals of the biorepository is to build capacity in Africa and stimulate research on HIV-related cancer that will benefit Africa and its people," said the university's Prof Johann Schneider.

Research on HIV-related cancers was on the increase, as people living with HIV were more prone to develop certain cancers, and these cancers presented differently in HIV-positive patients.

A grant of R12.5 million had been received from the National Cancer Institute for the installation and management of the Sub-Saharan African Regional Biospecimen Repository.

Prof Sylvia Silver of the George Washington University in the US oversaw the installation of behalf of the Aids and Cancer Specimen Resource.

Read more:

High cancer risk for HIV+
Cancer comes early for HIV+
HIV and lung cancer

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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