Yehoda Martei, MD, MSCE


  •  Assistant Professor of Medicine | University of Pennsylvania
  •  Botswana | Ghana | Uganda
  •   Global Oncology

Languages: English (native)

Bio statement

I am an attending physician in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at Penn. My research focuses on evaluating and improving access to cancer medicines and treatment outcomes in breast cancer patients in sub Saharan Africa, and assessing the impact of access to essential medicines for cancer treatment in low- and middle-income countries, on clinical outcomes among cancer patients. I have also worked on the WHO Steering Committee/ Union for International Cancer Control Task Team for updating the Model List of Essential Medicines for Cancer and the Steering Committee for the Medicine Patent Policy: “Feasibility of expanding the Medicines Patent Pool’s scope to include all patented essential medicines.”

Recent global health projects

Quantifying access to cancer medicines and impact on treatment outcomes in LMICs. Stock-outs and shortages of cancer medicines are common in LMICs and lead to an erratic supply of cancer medicines. This is potentially fatal for cancer patients receiving systemic treatment, however quantitative data is lacking in this field. As the lead researcher, my initial work focused on quantifying the availability of WHO essential cancer medicines in the public sector in Botswana. Subsequent work focused on quantifying chemotherapy volumes to help forecast chemotherapy need, but also provided critical cost data to key stakeholders that can be used to guide cost vs benefit analysis and guide national resource allocation and prioritization. I am currently analyzing data to quantify the risk of receiving sub-standard therapy associated with cancer drug stock-outs in Botswana.

Breast cancer treatment outcomes in HIV negative and HIV positive breast cancer patients. There are few published research articles on breast cancer treatment outcomes among HIV positive patients. The largest retrospective data analysis suggests worse outcomes in this group of patients. We recently published a systematic review of the literature on the co-diagnosis of HIV and breast cancer in sub Saharan Africa. As the co-PI of a CFAR grant, we have also designed a prospective study using the neoadjuvant (also preoperative) platform to compare pathologic complete response in HIV positive vs negative patients who receive neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced breast cancer in Botswana. I recently received a K12 grant to also study barriers to treatment guideline adherence among HIV positive breast cancer patients in Botswana.

Selected publications

Martei YM, Binagwaho A, Shulman LN. Affordability of Cancer Drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Effects of Pricing on Needless Loss of Life. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Apr 20;PubMed. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.0479.

Martei YM, Grover S, Tapela N, Dryden-Peterson S, Pusoentsi M, Shulman L, Chiyapo S. Availability of WHO Essential Medicines for Cancer Treatment in Botswana. Oral Presentation. JGO 2018 4:1-8. doi: 10.1200/JGO.17.00063.

Martei YM, Chiyapo S, Grover S, Hanna C, Dryden-Peterson S, Pusoentsi M, Shulman LN, Tapela NM. Methodology for Forecasting and Costing Chemotherapy Need in Low-and Middle-Income Countries. JGO 2018 4:1-8. doi: 10.1200/JGO.17.00114.

Martei YM, Narasimhamurthy M, Prabhakar P, Hutson J, Setlhako DI, Chiyapo S, Ramogola-Masire D, Makozhombwe I, Feldman M, Kayembe MKA, Grover S. Breast Cancer Pathology Trunaround Time in Botswana. JGO January 2018.12. doi: 10.1200/JGO.17.00090. 

Eniu AE, Martei YM, Trimble EL, Shulman LN. Cancer Care and Control as a Human Right: Recognizing Global Oncology as an Academic Field. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2017;37:409-415. doi: 10.14694/EDBK_175251.

Grover S, Balogun OD, Yamoah K, Groen R, Shah M, Rodin D, Martei YM, Olson AC, Slone JS, Shulman LN, Coleman CN, Hahn SM. Training Global Oncologists: Addressing the Global Cancer Control Problem. Front Oncol. 2015 Apr 8;5:80. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00080.

Olson AC, Coleman CN, Hahn SM, DeWeese TL, Shulman LN, Chabner BA, Chao C, Martei YM, Mundt AJ, Grover S. A Roadmap for a New Academic Pathway for Global Radiation Oncology. Int J Radiation Oncol Biol Phys, 2015; Nov 1;93(3):493-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.06.023. 

Grover S, Martei YM, Puri P, Prabhakar P, Mutebi M, Balogun OD, Price AJ, Freeman AH, Narasmhamurthy M, Rodin D, Rayne S, Zetola N. Breast cancer and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa: A complex relationship. Journal of Global Oncology 2016; January 11, 2017. doi: 10.1200/JGO.2016.006585.

Last Updated: 28 January 2022