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Pathol Res Pract. 2015 Dec;211(12):1003-5. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2015.09.017. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Epstein-Barr virus infection is equally distributed across the invasive ductal and invasive lobular forms of breast cancer.

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Department of Cellular Pathology, The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Castle Lane East, Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


The role of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of breast cancer is still unclear, although a growing body of evidence supports a link. The aim of this study was to investigate if EBV infection was more prevalent in invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma. An immunohistochemical marker for EBV (Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) clone E1-2.5) was applied to a tissue micro array section. The tissue micro array contained 80 cases of invasive ductal carcinoma, and 80 cases of invasive lobular carcinoma. Each case was scored as positive or negative for nuclear expression of EBNA1 in tumor cells using standard light microscopy. EBNA1 staining was evident in the tumor cells of 63 cases (39.4% of tumor cases). By tumor type (ductal/lobular) EBV infection was noted in 34 (42.5%) cases of invasive ductal carcinoma and 29 (36.2%) cases of invasive lobular carcinoma, this difference was not found to be significant (P=0.518). This study indicates that EBV infection is equally distributed across the ductal and lobular tumor types.


Breast cancer; Epstein–Barr virus; Invasive ductal carcinoma; Invasive lobular carcinoma

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