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Understanding human papilloma virus and Epstein-Barr virus-related oncological mechanisms in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Head and neck cancers, which have some of the highest mortality rates in the world, include two subtypes: oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal. Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection is a risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a risk factor for nasopharyngeal cancer. HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer is mainly prevalent in North America, Europe and Israel, while EBV-associated nasopharyngeal cancer is found in southern China, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and also in the Inuit population of North America. Once these viruses infect humans, it is not completely understood how they turn the infected host cells into malignant cells.

This project aims to investigate the mechanisms at the intersection of these viruses and oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal cancers. Findings will add knowledge to help find novel drug targets that can be used in stand-alone or combinatorial therapy to treat oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal cancer patients. This project was selected for funding during the first research competition of the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program – Phase II, a partnership between IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Israel Science Foundation and the Azrieli Foundation.

Project ID
Project Status
48 months
IDRC Officer
Fabiano Santos
Total Funding
CA$ 976,900.00
Institution Country
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre/L' Institut de recherche du centre universitaire de santé McGill

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