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Infect Agent Cancer. 2014 Jan 20;9(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1750-9378-9-3.

Implication of human herpesviruses in oncogenesis through immune evasion and supression.

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Nazarbayev University, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan.


All human herpesviruses (HHVs) have been implicated in immune system evasion and suppression. Moreover, two HHV family members, i.e. EBV and KSHV, are recognised as oncogenic viruses. Our literature review summarises additional examples of possible oncogenic mechanisms that have been attributed to other HHVs. In general, HHVs affect almost every cancer-implicated branch of the immune system, namely tumour-promoting inflammation, immune evasion, and immunosuppression. Some HHVs accomplish these effects by inhibiting apoptotic pathways and by promoting proliferation. Mechanisms related to immunosupression and low grade chronic inflammation could eventually result in the initiation and progression of cancer. In this article we open a discussion on the members of Herpesviridae, their immune evasion and suppression mechanisms, and their possible role in cancer development. We conclude that discerning the mechanisms of interplay between HHV, immune system, and cancer is essential for the development of novel preventative and therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment and prophylaxis.

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