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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1992 Feb;83(2):127-30.

Detection of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in a Japanese case of lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinoma.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo.


Epstein-Barr virus DNA was detected in a case of lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinoma. A homogeneous terminal structure of the viral DNA was demonstrated in this case, indicating the presence of the viral genome in clonally expanded tumor cells. Since all of 26 other thymic epithelial tumors (eight non-invasive, 13 invasive thymomas and four non-lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinomas) in Japanese were negative by polymerase chain reaction, it is suggested that lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinoma may represent a unique pathological entity distinct from Epstein-Barr virus-negative thymic epithelial tumors, which are in the majority in Japan.

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