Cancer is increasingly recognized as a threat to the health of persons in low- and middle-income countries, though few resources are devoted to the problem. Up to one-quarter of cancers may be attributable to infectious diseases, and these cancers afford unique opportunities for prevention and treatment in low-resource settings. Data will be reviewed showing the burden of infection-related cancers in sub-Saharan Africa and a number of solutions that are being developed by a unique collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Uganda Cancer Institute.
Dr. Casper focuses on infection-related cancers and cancer in low-resource settings. He is the Head of the Program in Global Oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he is also a Full Member in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease and Public Health Science Divisions. In 2004, he established a partnership between the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and the Hutchinson Center, known as the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance (UCI/HCCA), aimed at conducting collaborative research in infection-related cancers, medical care and biomedical research capacity-building, infrastructure development, and novel approaches to cancer care in low-resource settings. UCI/HCCA is currently running more than 20 studies in Kampala, Uganda, examining everything from how the body controls infections that cause cancer, to biomarkers that predict who will eventually develop cancer after exposure to viral infections, to genetic factors in tumors and viruses that may explain why some cancers are more aggressive than others.
In Seattle, Dr. Casper treats patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington Medical Center, where he specializes in infections as a consequence of cancer care or HIV disease. Dr. Casper chairs the Kaposi Sarcoma Working Group of the NCI-funded AIDS Malignancy Consortium, advises the National Cancer Advisory Board Subcommittee on Global Health, and writes national care guidelines for infections in immunocompromised patients for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Preventive Services Task Force and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. He holds an academic appointment at the University of Washington as a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health, where he serves as the Associate Director of the Center for AIDS Research.