The Center For Infection Research In Cancer

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The Center For Infection Research In Cancer

The Center for Infection Research in Cancer (CIRC) is the newest of Moffitt’s Centers of Excellence. It was established in 2012 and is directed by Anna R. Giuliano, Ph.D. Her research on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and its relationship to cancer, as well as other viral-caused cancers, has resulted in large grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leadership roles in multinational clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of HPV vaccine and even participation in regulatory bodies to approve licensure of the vaccines.

Estimates are that HPV infection causes five percent of all new cancers in men and women, such as cervical cancer (noted by the World Health Organization to be the second largest cause of female cancer mortality worldwide), vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile and a subset of cancers of the head and neck.

Research conducted by Dr. Giuliano and her colleagues has cast a bright light on HPV-caused cancers and has raised awareness of the probability that HPV vaccines – when used by both men and women – can save thousands of lives every year around the world.

“Infection is the cause of nearly 2 million cancer cases and accounts for 18 percent of the worldwide cancer burden,” says Dr. Giuliano. “Each year, this number increases as new cancer-causing infectious agents are identified.”

Since the links between sexually transmitted HPV infections and a variety of cancers were firmly established in 1995, research into the HPV-cancer link has expanded.

“There are more than 100 types of HPV,” explains Dr. Giuliano. “Forty of these pose varying risks for the development of cancer. HPV-16 and HPV-18 together account for about 70 percent of cervical cancers globally. Recently, it’s been found that oral HPV-16 infection is strongly linked to the development of oropharyngeal cancer.”

The goals of the CIRC are not only to identify the viral agents that cause cancer, but also to translate that knowledge into effective strategies for prevention and treatment. To fight these infection-caused cancers, the CIRC utilizes ongoing genomic and clinical information as well as tissues collected through Moffitt’s Total Cancer Care® program.  The Center also brings together Moffitt’s laboratory, clinical and other sciences.<
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