Our research in Uganda focuses on the 25 percent of cancers worldwide caused by infectious agents, including Kaposi sarcoma (KS), Burkitt lymphoma (BL), and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The burden of infection-related cancers is not equally distributed around the world, and Uganda has among the highest incidence of infection-associated cancers of anywhere in the world. A research team consisting of staff from both the Hutchinson Center and Uganda Cancer Institute seeks to understand the following fundamental questions about infection-related cancers:
- How are infections which cause cancer acquired and transmitted?
- What factors influence the progression from chronic infection to malignancy?
- What is the immunologic and virologic natural history of infections which cause cancer?
- Can diagnostic assays help identify those persons with chronic oncogenic infections who are at highest risk for cancer development?
- Can antimicrobial therapy be used to prevent progression to malignancy or as part of adjunctive cancer care?
- How does the epidemiology, natural history, response to treatment and survival of infection-associated cancers differ in sub-Saharan Africa from what has been observed in the US?
- How does HIV infection affect the acquisition, transmission and natural history of viral oncogenes?