Chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, and parasites can lead to development of cancer. In 2018, approximately 13% of cancers globally were linked to infection with 90% of these cases attributed to Helicobacter pylori (Stomach cancer), Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Hepatocellular carcinoma), and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) (Cervical, Anal, head and neck cancers). Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) causes Hodgkin lymphoma,some types of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and nasopharyngeal cancers.

Cancers caused by infections can be prevented by following good hygienic practises, treatment with drugs, and vaccinations.

Infection with HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers, 90% and 70% of anal and oropharyngeal cancers, respectively. There are 13 different types of HPV that can cause cancers. The USFDA has approved a vaccine called Gardasil 9, which protects against 9 different types of HPV. It has been shown that vaccination against HPV can significantly reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by 90%.

HPV vaccinations should be given to individuals, who are at risk or for prevention, based on guidelines issued by Regulatory agencies such as the FDA and CDC.

Author:Ramesh Jayaraman-Chief Scientific Officer, OncoDynamiX Lifesciences.


  • American Association of Cancer Research, Cancer Progress Report, 2021