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Oncol Rep. 2003 Jul-Aug;10(4):1059-62.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinoma in Cali, Colombia.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Valle, Sede San Fernando, Cali, Colombia.


To estimate the incidence of Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinoma (EBV-GC) in Colombia and to clarify its clinicopathological features, we examined 178 consecutive gastric carcinoma cases, diagnosed during the period from 1996 to 1998, at Hospital Universitario del Valle in Cali, Colombia. The mean age of the cases was 60 years in males and 58 years in females. Using in situ hybridization assay of EBV-encoded small RNA-1 in paraffin-embedded tissue samples, we identified 23 cases of EBV-GC (13%). After excluding remnant carcinoma, which was found to be EBV-negative in this series, there were 19 (18%) male and 4 (6%) female EBV-GC cases, and the male predominance was statistically significant (P=0.004). The proportion of EBV-GCs decreased with age (P for trend = 0.022). Using sex- and age-specific proportions of EBV-GCs estimated by logistic models and gastric cancer incidence in Cali, which was obtained from tumor registry during the period 1987-1991, we estimated sex- and age-specific incidence of EBV-GCs. The incidence of EBV-GCs (per 100,000 person-years) was 4.1 and 1.4 among men and women, respectively, after age adjustment using the standard world population. Pathological features of EBV-GCs were also examined. EBV-GCs accounted for 33% (8/24) of carcinomas located in the stomach cardia, 14% (6/43) of carcinomas in the middle-part of the stomach, and 7% (6/81) of carcinomas in the antrum. The difference by tumor location was statistically significant (P=0.009). Histology-specific analysis using Lauren classification revealed that the proportion of EBV-GCs was not different in intestinal- and diffuse-type carcinomas (13% in both types). When the classification scheme of the Japanese Research Society for Gastric Cancer was used, EBV-GCs were identified more frequently in moderately differentiated tubular adenocarcinoma, and solid poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma when compared to other histological types. No lymphoepitelioma-like histology was found in the present series. The frequency of EBV-GC was slightly higher in advanced tumors, which involved serosa. Further analysis of clinico-pathological features of EBV-GC using a larger number of cases would give invaluable insights into its etiology.

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