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Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Oct;37(5):257-67. doi: 10.4143/crt.2005.37.5.257. Epub 2005 Oct 31.

Epstein-Barr virus in human malignancy: a special reference to Epstein-Barr virus associated gastric carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Epstein-Bar virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus, establishes a life-long persistent infection in 90 approximately 95% of human adult population worldwide. EBV is the etiologic agent of infectious mononucleosis, and EBV is associated with a variety of human malignancy including lymphoma and gastric carcinoma. Recently, EBV has been classified as group 1 carcinogen by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer. Evidence is presented which suggests that failures of the EBV-specific immunity may play a role in the pathogenesis of EBV-associated malignancy. At present, the precise mechanisms by which EBV transforms B lymphocytes have been disclosed. Encouragingly, they have had enough success so far to keep them enthusiastic about novel therapeutic trial in the field of EBV-associated lymphoma. However, information on EBV-associated gastric carcinoma is still at dawn. This article reviews EBV biology, immunological response of EBV infection, unique oncogenic property of EBV, peculiarity of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma, and lastly, EBV-targeted therapy and vaccination.


EBV-targeted treatment; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); Human herpes virus 4; Lymphoma; Oncogenic virus; Stomach neoplasms

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