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Curr Oncol Rep. 2000 Mar;2(2):199-204.

Epstein-Barr virus and Hodgkin's disease.

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  • 1City of Hope National Medical Center, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Approximately 40% to 50% of cases of Hodgkin's disease occurring in Western populations are associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). In these cases, EBV is found in the neoplastic elements, the Reed-Sternberg and Hodgkin's cells. EBV is probably not present in all cases, but neither have any other viruses been found in the cases that are EBV-negative. EBV may play a role in the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's disease by the activation of anti-apoptotic factors in a premalignant germinal center B-lymphocyte. Regardless of their role in etiology or pathogenesis, EBV-latent antigens may represent a target for possible immune therapy.

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