TABLE 5.7SV40 Virus and Malignant Mesothelioma

Evidence for a Causal Relationship
  1. SV40 viral DNA sequences have been detected in up to 80% of human malignant mesotheliomas in the United States (reviewed in Gazdar et al. 2002).
  2. SV40 viral DNA has been detected in tumor cells, not in adjacent stroma or nonneoplastic mesothelial cells (Carbone et al. 1994, 1997; Ranel et al. 1999; Shivapurkar et al. 1999).
  3. SV40 T antigen binds to and inactivates p53 and pRb proteins (Carbone et al. 1997, De Luca et al. 1997).
  4. SV40 virus preferentially infects and transforms human mesothelial cells (Carbone et al. 2003).
  5. Antisense constructs directed against SV40 T antigen induce growth arrest and apoptosis in human mesothelioma cells in vitro (Waheed et al. 1999).
  6. SV40 virus induces malignant mesothelioma in hamsters (Cicala et al. 1993).
Evidence Against a Causal Relationship
  1. Several studies have failed to detect SV40 viral DNA sequences in human malignant mesotheliomas (López-Ríos et al. 2004, Manfredi et al. 2005).
  2. Epidemiologic studies fail to show an increased risk of cancer in individuals likely exposed to SV40 virus in contaminated vaccines (reviewed in IOM 2002).
  3. SV40 T antigen is highly immunogenic (reviewed in Butel and Lednicky 1999).
  4. Serologic tests for SV40 virus are cross-reactive with JC virus and BK virus which are nearly ubiquitous in humans but do not cause disease in immunocompetent individuals (reviewed in Shah 2004).
  5. Distribution of potentially contaminated vaccines coincided with a period of increasing use of asbestos products (reviewed in Gazdar et al. 2002).

From: 5, Biological Aspects of Asbestos-Related Diseases

Cover of Asbestos
Asbestos: Selected Cancers.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Asbestos: Selected Health Effects.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.
Copyright © 2006, National Academy of Sciences.

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