Is EBV associated with breast cancer in specific geographic locations?

Sinclair, Alison J, Moalwi, Manal H and Amoaten, Thomas (2021) Is EBV associated with breast cancer in specific geographic locations? Cancers, 13 (4). a819 1-8. ISSN 2072-6694

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Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a virus that establishes a life-long infection in people, and infection with EBV is nearly ubiquitous by adulthood. EBV was identified from biopsy material from a child with Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) in sub-Saharan Africa. EBV has a well-characterised role in the development of some cancers, notably, Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), Hodgkin’s disease (HD), gastric carcinoma (GC), and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Links have also been made between EBV and breast cancer (BC), but these have been controversial. For all EBV-associated cancers, the ubiquitous nature of infection with EBV, contrasted with the relatively rare development of cancer, highlights a problem of determining whether EBV is an aetiological agent of cancer. In addition, the geographic distributions of some EBV-associated cancers point to contributions from additional co-factors. Recent meta-analyses of the incidence of EBV within BC biopsies has revealed that the diversity in the conclusions remain, however, they also show more of an association between EBV and BC biopsies in some study locations. Here, we review the evidence linking EBV with BC, and conclude that the evidence for the presence of EBV in BC biopsies is concentrated in specific geographic regions but is currently insufficient to provide a causal link. We pose some questions that could help to resolve the question of whether EBV contributes to BC and probe the contribution EBV might make to the aetiology of BC.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Burkitt’s lymphoma, Epstein–Barr virus, breast cancer, gastric cancer, geographic incidence, nasopharyngeal cancer
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2021 09:03
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 09:03

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