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Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Genome and Expression in Breast Cancer Tissue: Effect of EBV Infection of Breast Cancer Cells on Resistance to Paclitaxel *

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been detected in subsets of breast cancers. In order to elaborate on these observations, we quantified by real-time PCR (Q-PCR) the EBV genome in biopsy specimens of breast cancer tissue as well as in tumor cells isolated by microdissection. Our findings show that EBV genomes can be detected by Q-PCR in about half of tumor specimens, usually in low copy numbers. However, we also found that the viral load is highly variable from tumor to tumor.

 Moreover, EBV genomes are heterogeneously distributed in morphologically identical tumor cells, with some clusters of isolated tumor cells containing relatively high genome numbers while other tumor cells isolated from the same specimen may be negative for EBV DNA. Using reverse transcription-PCR, we detected EBV gene transcripts: EBNA-1 in almost all of the EBV-positive tumors and RNA of the EBV oncoprotein LMP-1 in a smaller subset of the tissues analyzed. Moreover, BARF-1 RNA was detected in half of the cases studied.

 Furthermore, we observed that in vitro EBV infection of breast carcinoma cells confers resistance to paclitaxel (taxol) and provokes overexpression of a multidrug resistance gene (MDR1). Consequently, even if a small number of breast cancer cells are EBV infected, the impact of EBV infection on the efficiency of anticancer treatment might be of importance.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

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 04-17-2008