Develop a Therapeutic Vaccine Approach by Removing Viral Immune Evasion
The proposed study aims to develop a vaccination strategy to protect against common and devastating cancers in African children associated with infections of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV or HHV-4) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV-8).
EBV and KSHV belong to the gamma subfamily of herpesviruses and are linked to a variety of human malignancies. For example, EBV is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), endemic to equatorial Africa where BL is the most frequent type of childhood malignancy. KSHV is associated with KS, which in children is aggressive and often results in rapid death. The risk of KS among individuals infected with human immunodeficiency-1 (HIV-1) is much higher than in un-infected people. With the ongoing HIV-1 epidemic in Africa where the prevalence of KSHV is high (30-60%), KS is an eminent problem for children.
Dr. Sun received R01 funding from the NIH to continue this project!