Infectious Agents and Cancer
An estimated 16.1% of newly diagnosed cancers may be attributable to infections. Our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of cancer induction by infectious agents, interactions between the environment and host genetics, and potential roles of cofactors (known and unknown) is limited and warrants further elucidation. Moreover, technological advances have led to the discovery of previously unknown and unsuspected oncogenic infections in recent years, prompting the idea that additional infection-associated cancers might still be discovered. Epidemiologic studies on this topic could play important roles in answering both old and new questions, which could augment current knowledge and open new areas of research. Understanding the role of infection in cancer may result in discoveries that lead to better diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancers, particularly in resource-poor countries.
NCI-sponsored Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) related to infectious diseases and risk of cancer include:
- Multidisciplinary Studies of HIV and Viral Hepatitis Co-Infection – expires May 8, 2017 unless reissued
- Research on Malignancies in the Context of HIV/AIDS - expires September 8, 2016 unless reissued
- Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program – expires July 30, 2016 unless reissued
EGRP encourages investigator-initiated grant applications on infectious agents and cancer. It also joins with other NCI Divisions, and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund grant applications submitted in response to FOAs. View the full list of EGRP FOAs.
The NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) also contains information about research funding opportunities related to infectious agents.)
NIH has also partnered with the International AIDS Society and the NIH-funded Centers for AIDS Research to support innovative research projects to introduce scientists from other disciplines to the field of HIV research.
- AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource
A collection of tissues and biological fluids with associated clinical and follow-up data from patients with HIV-related malignancies. Specimens and clinical data are available for research studies, particularly those that translate basic research findings to clinical application.
- Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Network of Integrated Clinical Systems
Provides integrated clinical data from the large and diverse population of HIV-infected people in the modern HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART) era who are receiving care at one of the many U.S. federally funded CFAR sites and data to address the challenging and rapidly evolving issues in HIV care and research.
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Research Resources
A compilation of scientific literature, laboratory and clinical research support and tools, and training opportunities.
- NIH Common Fund Human Microbiome Project
Provides links to funding opportunities and research resources enabling comprehensive characterization of the human microbiota and analysis of their role in human health and disease.
- NCI Fact Sheets
- Key NCI information on disease incidence and mortality, funding, research activities, and recent scientific advances can be found at NCI's Snapshots website:
- CDC Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients
- World Health Organization - Global Health Observatory
Links to reports containing statistics for key health indicators on an annual basis
- de Martel C, Ferlay J, Franceschi S, Vignat J, Bray F, Forman D, Plummer M. Global burden of cancers attributable to infections in 2008: a review and synthetic analysis. Lancet Oncol. 2012 Jun;13(6):607-15.
- De Flora S, Bonanni P. The prevention of infection-associated cancers. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Jun;32(6):787-95.
- de Martel C, Franceschi S. Infections and cancer: established associations and new hypotheses. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2009 Jun;70(3):183-94.
- IARC. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Biological agents. Volume 100B. Lyon (France): IARC; 2007.
- IARC. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 90. Human Papillomaviruses. Lyon (France): IARC; 2007.
- Pagano JS, Blaser M, Buendia MA, Damania B, Khalili K, Raab-Traub N, Roizman B. Infectious agents and cancer: criteria for a causal relation. Semin Cancer Biol. 2004 Dec;14(6):453-71.
- Kinlen L. Infections and immune factors in cancer: the role of epidemiology. Oncogene. 2004 Aug 23;23(38):6341-8.
- IARC. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 70. Epstein-Barr Virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus/Human Herpesvirus 8. Lyon (France): IARC; 1997.
- IARC. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 67. Human Immunodeficiency Viruses and Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Viruses. Lyon (France): IARC; 1996.
- IARC. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 59. Hepatitis Viruses. Lyon (France): IARC; 1994.
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 61. Schistosomes, Liver Flukes, and Helicobacter pylori. Lyon (France): IARC; 1994.
- Parkin DM. The global health burden of infection-associated cancers in the year 2002. Int J Cancer. 2006 Jun 15; 118 (12):3030-44.
- Vedham V, Divi RL, Starks VL, Verma M. Multiple Infections and Cancer: Implications in Epidemiology. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print]
EGRP-Supported Webinar Series
- Danielle M. Carrick, Ph.D., M.H.S. - biospecimen research, immunology and inflammation related to cancer risk
- Gary L. Ellison, Ph.D., M.P.H.
- Gabriel Lai, Ph.D. - hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
- Tram Kim Lam, Ph.D., M.P.H. - environmental exposures, health disparities, understudied populations
- Damali N. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H. - health disparities, global health
- Vaurice L. Starks, B.S. - HIV-related malignancies studies, HPV infection and associated cancers, virally-mediated carcinogenesis
- Mukesh Verma, Ph.D. - biomarkers, epigenetics, risk assessments