Introduction – Infection and cancer: epidemiology, biology and prevention


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Lawrence Young

University of Birmingham, UK

Abstract

Infection with viruses or bacteria has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a range of different cancers accounting for an estimated 2 million new cases per year. A common feature of these cancers is that they involve chronic or persistent infections that are widespread in the normal population with tumours only developing in a small proportion of infected people, usually many years after initial infection. This session will review the epidemiology of infection-associated cancers and then consider the mechanisms underlying tumour pathogenesis as exemplified by examples from the two main classes of infectious agent.