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Arch Iran Med. 2014 Nov;17(11):767-70. doi: 0141711/AIM.0010.

Prevalence and characteristics of Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric cancer in Iran.

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Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Research Center of Virus and Vaccine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Pathology ward of Mahdieh hospital, Shahid Beheshti Medical Science University, Tehran, Iran.



Gastric cancer (GC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and is the most frequent cancer in Iran. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to be associated with gastric cancer. The present study was carried out to investigate the prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated gastric cancer among Iranian patients.


Ninety formalin fixed paraffin-embedded cases of gastric cancer were studied. The specimens were investigated for the presence of the EBV genome by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.


Of ninety specimens, EBV was detected in six cases (6.66%). The mean age for patients EBV-positive gastric carcinomas was 72.1 years, whereas the mean age for the entire group was 65.7 years. Four out of 64 (6.25%) male patients and 2 out of 26 (7.69%) female cases were positive for EBV. According to anatomic location, EBV was detected in 4 out of 39 (10.25% ) gastric cancer were located in cardia and 2 out of 26 (7.69%) gastric cancer were located in middle/corpus.


The present study shows that the frequency of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma in Iran isĀ  low. Differences of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma incidence in different countries may reflect the epidemiologic factors and dietary habits. Further analysis of clinical pathology features of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma using a larger number of cases would give invaluable insights into its etiology.

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