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Dr. Doug Lowy on Preventing Cancer Through Vaccination

Douglas R. Lowy, MD
Published: Friday, May 22, 2015



Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director, National Cancer Institute, chief, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, senior Investigator, Head, Signaling and Oncogenesis Section, discusses potential cancer prevention strategies using vaccination.

Lowy's research led to the discovery of an effective HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer. This approach could be duplicated across other types of cancer, he explained, including types of lymphoma and liver cancers.

Vaccination against Hepatitis B not only protects against the virus itself but also liver cancer, which can be caused by the virus, Lowy notes. On the other hand, Hepatitis C (HCV), which is also implicated in liver cancer, has been resistant to the efforts being made to develop vaccines, though there are antiviral drugs that are able to induce long-term remissions and potential cures in people with HCV.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a known cause of Burkett lymphoma and other cancers, Lowy says. The development of a vaccine against EBV could effectively prevent these cancers and other complications related to the virus. These potential prevention strategies stress the importance of ongoing research, Lowy suggests.


Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director, National Cancer Institute, chief, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, senior Investigator, Head, Signaling and Oncogenesis Section, discusses potential cancer prevention strategies using vaccination.

Lowy's research led to the discovery of an effective HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer. This approach could be duplicated across other types of cancer, he explained, including types of lymphoma and liver cancers.

Vaccination against Hepatitis B not only protects against the virus itself but also liver cancer, which can be caused by the virus, Lowy notes. On the other hand, Hepatitis C (HCV), which is also implicated in liver cancer, has been resistant to the efforts being made to develop vaccines, though there are antiviral drugs that are able to induce long-term remissions and potential cures in people with HCV.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a known cause of Burkett lymphoma and other cancers, Lowy says. The development of a vaccine against EBV could effectively prevent these cancers and other complications related to the virus. These potential prevention strategies stress the importance of ongoing research, Lowy suggests.

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