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Chest. 1999 Dec;116(6 Suppl):470S-473S.

Simian virus 40 is present in most United States human mesotheliomas, but it is rarely present in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Simian virus 40 (SV40) causes mesotheliomas, osteosarcomas, ependymomas, choroid plexus tumors, and lymphomas in hamsters. In humans, SV40 has been detected in tumors of the first four types. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we tested 29 non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (intermediate and high-grade), 25 posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders, and 5 AIDS lymphomas for SV40 DNA. PCR analysis revealed that 3 of 29 lymphomas, 6 of 25 posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders, and 2 of 5 AIDS lymphomas contained SV40 sequences corresponding to the retinoblastoma (RB)-pocket binding domain of SV40 tumor antigen (Tag). However, among positive samples, only one posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder and one AIDS lymphoma contained the SV40 regulatory region, which suggest a higher viral load in these patients. In parallel experiments, 8 of 12 mesotheliomas tested positive for SV40 for both the RB-pocket binding domain of Tag and the SV40 regulatory region. These data confirm the presence of SV40 in most United States mesotheliomas and indicate that in human non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, the prevalence of SV40 is low.

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