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Cytomegalovirus infection blocks apoptosis in cancer cells *

Recent pathological findings reveal a higher frequency of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in tumor cells from different tumors compared with surrounding tissues. Experimental investigations suggest possible supportive effects of HCMV for tumor development and progression. One HCMV effect on tumor cells is the inhibition of apoptosis, leading to the promotion of tumor cell survival. Decreased sensitivity to treatment-induced tumor cell death is a major reason for failure of anticancer chemotherapy. HCMV infection interferes with both the intrinsic and extrinsic cellular apoptosis pathways. HCMV promotes cell survival signaling influencing the tumor suppressor p53 and its relative p73, and stimulates the antiapoptotic Ras/Raf/MEK/Erk- and PI-3K-signaling pathways. Antiapoptotic effects mediated by HCMV are inhibited by antiviral treatment in cell culture. Therefore, a better understanding of the influence of HCMV infection on tumor cell apoptosis might translate into improved anti-cancer therapy.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 12-01-2008
Authors: M. Michaelis1, R. Kotchetkov1, J.-U. Vogel1, H. W. Doerr1 and J. Cinatl Jr1
Source: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS),