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Int J Cancer. 2001 Nov;94(4):527-30.

Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinoma is associated with location in the cardia and with a diffuse histology: a study in one area of Chile.

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Instituto Chileno Japones de Enfermedades Digestivas, Hospital Clinico San Borja Arriaran, Santiago, Chile.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with the most common form of stomach neoplasms, the gastric carcinoma (GC). The presence of EBV-encoded small RNAtype-1 (EBER-1), a marker for EBV infection was analyzed by in situ hybridization (ISH) in 185 formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded cases of GC from a high risk region. We found 31 (16.8%) EBV-positive cases with no relationship to age. Although male predominance (19% in males and 12.5% in females) was observed, the gender difference did not achieve statistical significance. Odds ratio (OR) for cardia location was 5.4 (95% CI 1.7-17.3) when antrum was used as referent category and the effects of gender and age were taken into account. The proportion of EBV-positive cases in diffuse histology was higher than intestinal type (OR = 4.8, 95% CI = 2.0-11.1). Our findings are contrary to a previously accepted hypothesis, that high-risk countries for GC have low rates of EBV-associated GC. In addition, our findings regarding location, histology and weak male predominance are different from what has been described in Asian and European countries, but similar to those described in Mexico and Mexican descendants living in the U.S. suggesting unique characteristics of EBV-associated GC in Latin-America.

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