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Eur Respir J. 1999 Dec;14(6):1381-6.

Detection of SV40 like viral DNA and viral antigens in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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Dept Pathology, General Hospital St. Elisabeth, Herentals, Belgium.


This study investigated the presence of simian vacuolating virus 40 (SV40) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in malignant pleural mesothelioma, non-neoplastic mesothelium and pleural carcinoma metastasis and correlated these data with immunohistochemistry for SV40 viral antigens. The novel Primed In Situ (PRINS) method was applied to detect the presence of SV40 DNA in situ in tissue sections of malignant mesothelioma (n = 25), non-neoplastic mesothelium (n = 30) and pleural carcinoma metastasis (n = 30). Immunohistochemistry with an SV40-specific antibody was applied for detection of the SV40 viral antigen in the same material. SV40 DNA and expression of one of the viral proteins (small t-antigen) was found in approximately 60% of the investigated mesothelioma cases in contrast to non-neoplastic mesothelium and carcinoma metastasis that were negative for both SV40 DNA and SV40 viral antigens. These results suggest that simian vacuolating virus 40 deoxyribonucleic acid may be biologically active as there was also immunoreactivity for simian vacuolating virus 40 viral antigen in those cases positive for simian vacuolating virus 40 deoxyribonucleic acid with the primed in situ reaction. Simian vacuolating virus 40 viral deoxyribonucleic acid and antigens may be potential markers for neoplastic mesothelium that may prove useful in the rather difficult histopathological differential diagnosis between malignant mesothelioma and reactive mesothelium or pleural carcinoma.

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