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Clin Cancer Res. 2011 May 15;17(10):3056-63. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-2578. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated B-cell lymphomas: pathogenesis and clinical outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Tumor Virology Program, Abramson, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human γ-herpesvirus that establishes a life-long asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts. It is also found to be frequently associated with a broad spectrum of B-cell lymphomas predominantly seen in immunodeficient patients. Despite many resemblances, these EBV-linked lymphoproliferative disorders display heterogeneity at the clinical and the molecular level. Moreover, EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases differ in their differential expression patterns of the EBV-encoded latent antigens, which are directly related to their interactions with the host. EBV-driven primary B-cell immortalization is linked to the cooperative functions of these latent proteins, which are critical for perturbing many important cell-signaling pathways maintaining B-cell proliferation. Additionally, it is used as a surrogate model to explore the underlying mechanisms involved in the development of B-cell neoplasms. Recent discoveries have revealed that a number of sophisticated mechanisms are exploited by EBV during cancer progression. This finding will be instrumental in the design of novel approaches for therapeutic interventions against EBV-associated B-cell lymphomas. This review limits the discussion to the biology and pathogenesis of EBV-associated B-cell lymphomas and the related clinical implications.

©2011 AACR.

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