Program in Global Oncology

About the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance

East Africa has among the highest burdens of infection-related cancers anywhere in the globe. In Uganda, six of the ten most common cancers are infection-associated. Kaposi sarcoma is the most common cancer in adult Ugandan men and women, and is caused by infection with human herpes virus 8. Similarly, Burkitt lymphoma is the most common cancer in Ugandan children and is caused by infection with Epstein Barr Virus.

The UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance seeks to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies for infection-associated cancers to benefit the millions of people in Uganda, the United States and worldwide who suffer from these malignancies.

We have developed a three-pronged approach for addressing this problem:

  • Conduct cutting-edge research in infection-related cancers to better understand the pathogenesis of these diseases so we can develop and test more effective, efficacious and safer treatment and prevention regimens;
  • Improve clinical capacity through the provision of medical support and revised clinical protocols for those with infectious cancers;
  • Train clinicians and support staff to enhance local human capacity that can sustain the research and clinical care activities at the site.
UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance team

UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance team October 2008

About Infectious Diseases and Cancer   

Infectious diseases are the cause of nearly one-quarter of cancer cases around the world, accounting for 3 million new cancer diagnoses and 1.5 million deaths every year.

The burden of infection-related cancers is not evenly distributed, however, with two-thirds of deaths occurring in low-and middle-resource countries. These infection-related cancers may offer one of the most immediate opportunities for gains in the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. As examples, one of the most common causes of cancer among children in Taiwan, liver cancer, was nearly eradicated with the introduction of the vaccine against the virus which causes many cases of liver cancer (hepatitis B). Similarly, based on science conducted at the Hutch and elsewhere, a vaccine against human papillomavirus may one day in the near future eliminate cervical cancer.

About the Uganda Cancer Institute  

Dr. Jackson Orem and Dr. Larry Corey

Cancer center directors Dr. Jackson Orem (Uganda Cancer Institute) and Dr. Larry Corey (Fred Hutch)

The Uganda Cancer Institute is the sole cancer treatment and training facility in Uganda, a country with a population of 32 million people. Dr. Lawrence Corey (Hutchinson Center president and director) has been instrumental in working with Drs. Jackson Orem (UCI director and UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance co-director) and Corey Casper (UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance co-director and Associate Member at Fred Hutch) to plan a new state-of-the-art facility, the first collaborative comprehensive cancer center between an African and US institution.