Advancing cures for cancers caused by pathogens

Pathogen-Associated Malignancies Integrated Research Center

Advancing cures for cancers caused by pathogens

Portion of cancers attributable to infections.

Graphic by Jim Woolace / Fred Hutch Graphic Designer

Each year, 14 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer, and up to 20 percent of those cancers are caused, directly or indirectly, by viruses and other pathogens.

At Fred Hutch, our goal is to lead the way in eliminating that burden — and to advance cures for all cancers — through our Pathogen-Associated Malignancies Integrated Research Center. Our program will spur real advances in our understanding across a wide spectrum of pathogen-associated cancers as well as improve treatment and prevention efforts against them.

Hutch's scientific depth

Fred Hutch researchers excel at understanding the biology of pathogen-related cancers, identifying the immune system’s interaction with both pathogens and cancers, and leveraging that knowledge to develop and test innovative strategies that improve care for patients worldwide. The PAM IRC builds on those strengths, interfacing closely with other programs, including our Immunotherapy IRC and Fred Hutch Global Oncology.

Led by Dr. Denise Galloway, the PAM IRC brings together Hutch experts in infectious diseases, host–pathogen interactions, cancer biology, immunology, global oncology and immunotherapy to understand, treat and prevent the cancers linked to infectious agents.

Drawing on more than 40 years of translational experience through bone-marrow transplantation research, the conduct of large-scale studies and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, a major vaccine research consortium, Hutch researchers are initially focusing on seven infectious pathogens and their related cancers.

Dr. Denise Galloway, Scientific Director, Pathogen-Associated Malignancies IRC

Infectious pathogens and their related cancers

Human Papillomarivus (HPV)  Cervical, other anogenital and oropharyngeal (throat) carcinomas
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) Merkel cell carcinoma (a rare skin cancer)
Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV/HCV)  Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) Burkitt, Hodgkin and other lymphomas and nasopharyngeal and some gastric (stomach) carcinomas
Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV; HHV8) Kaposi sarcoma
Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus (HTLV-1) Some T-cell leukemia andlymphomas
Human immunodeficience virus (HIV 1)  Many malignanacies
Helicobacter pylori Gastric carcinoma (stomach cancer)
Clonorchis sinensis & Opistharchis viverrini Biliary, pancreatic and gallbladder cancers
Schistosoma haematobium Bladder cancer

Bold = PAM IRC focus

Funding innovative research

The PAM IRC funds collaborative, multidisciplinary projects aimed at deepening our understanding of the role pathogens play in cancer development and how these can be targeted to develop new therapies. The grant funding is not limited to PAM IRC participants, but it is open to any Fred Hutch investigators whose research will advance immunotherapy.