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Br J Cancer. 2005 Feb 28;92(4):743-6.

Detection of oncogenic virus genomes and gene products in lung carcinoma.

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Department of Respiratory Diseases, CHU Rangueil-Larrey, 31059 Toulouse Cedex, France.


We investigated a series of 122 cases of small cell lung carcinomas and non-small cell lung carcinomas for the presence of several viruses that are known to be oncogenic in humans. Thus, viral genomes (DNA) and/or RNA transcripts and/or proteins of human papillomaviruses (HPV) 16, 18, 31, 33, 51, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and simian virus 40 (SV40) were investigated on tissue sections (prepared in tissue microarrays) with different techniques of immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. None of the cases displayed a single positive tumour cell for all the viruses tested whatever the technique applied. Of note, in five cases of tumours with lymphoid infiltrates, we detected scattered EBV (EBER)-positive bystander lymphocytes. In three cases, a faint nuclear staining was found with the anti-latent nuclear antigen/LANA1 (HHV-8) antibody. These cases were checked by PCR with two sets of primers (orf 26 and orf 75) and remained negative for this latter virus. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that the conventional human oncogenic viruses (HPV, EBV, HCMV, HHV-8 and SV40) are unlikely to play some role in the development of lung carcinomas..

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