Infectious Causes of Cancer

Associate Professor Annika Antonsson is a virologist with epidemiological training. Viruses can cause cancer, and Annika’s research has been focused on human papillomavirus (HPV) and its role in different types of cancer. Her current main research areas are oral HPV infections in the general population and HPV in mouth and throat cancer (mucosal squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck; HNSCC).

Can we expect Gardasil to prevent future oropharyngeal cancers?

We aim to provide Australian data of the baseline burden of HPV-related cancers against which the Gardasil® vaccines might prove effective, and to investigate the changes in prevalence of HPV types in those tumours over time (comparing oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed 2009-2011 to 2019-2021).

Do Socio-Economic factors influence head and neck cancer survival?

We have a large database (20,000+) of patients with head and neck cancers in Queensland. This study will provide data about survival 2 years after patients are diagnosed with a head and neck cancer, and any associations with Indigenous status, Socio-Economic factors and/or remoteness. If there are any disparities in survival in head and neck cancer patients, it is important to identify the differences to facilitate improvement in care for survival.