Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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09 April 2013

Viral Cancer

Cancer isn’t often viral in cause, but Dr Clare Davy here reveals how a tiny virus with only eight genes can cause cervical cancer in adult women. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)16 is everywhere and spreads through sexual contact. Most infections don’t lead to cancer. However, in a small number of women the immune system can’t flush the virus out and cervical cancer results. Clare explains how HPV16 sometimes stops reproducing, instead making cervical cells divide out of control. She wants to understand how the viral genes cause body cells to become cancerous.

Written by Brona McVittie

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