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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Immunologic Factors

Altered immunity and chronic inflammation appear to play a key role in the etiology of several malignancies. DCEG researchers investigate the role of the immune system in cancer etiology, measuring immune response as part of the host response to exogenous exposures. For example, we are closely examining the substantially elevated cancer risk among solid organ transplant recipients who receive long-term immunosuppressant medications to prevent organ rejection. We are also considering how chronic inflammation from infection is related to cancer risk, as demonstrated by H. pylori with gastric cancer and periodontal hygiene with oral and esophageal cancers. Examples of studies involving immunologic factors include: