Persistent viruses are pathogens that co-exist in balance with and for the life of their immunocompetent hosts, often without causing any symptoms. The delicate virus-host balance can be upset by perturbation of the immune responses, or through genetic or environmental factors.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that persistent viruses are a major worldwide source of morbidity and mortality, responsible for diverse pathologies ranging from virus-associated cancers to life-threatening virus replicative infections. Viruses are estimated to be associated with the pathogenesis of 15-25% of all human cancers worldwide.
Aims of the Viral Oncology research theme are to understand better the virus:host balance which normally enables asymptomatic persistence, and to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which tumour viruses cause malignant and non-malignant disease.Our research groups are studying 5 different viruses that cause cancer:
Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)...
The role of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and a subset of gastric carcinomas. (Prof L Young, Dr C Dawson)
Epstein-Barr virus immunology and therapies (Prof A Rickinson, Dr G Taylor, Dr S Lee, Dr A Hislop)
Pathogenesis of B cell lymphomas (Prof P Murray, Prof C Woodman, Prof Rowe)
Epstein-Barr virus persistence and lymphomagenesis (Prof M Rowe, Prof A Rickinson, Dr A Bell)
Mechanisms of EBV infection of different cell types and interaction with the host immune system (Dr C Shannon-Lowe, Prof A Rickinson, Prof M Rowe)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)...