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Detection of Epstein-Barr virus in breast carcinoma in Egyptian women

Background
The association of oncogenic EBV with breast carcinoma (BC) is still in controversy.

Aim of work
Assess the association of EBV with BC in Egyptian women and find possible relationship between prognostic factors of BC and EBV detection.

Subjects and methods
Paraffin-embedded sections from 40 female patients with primary invasive BC; ductal (n = 32) and lobular (n = 8) and breast tissues from patients with fibrocystic disease (n = 20) as control were screened for presence of EBV by EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) immunostaining and by PCR for EBV-DNA.

Results
10 / 40 (25%) of the BC specimens stained positively for EBNA-1; EBNA-1 expression was restricted to a fraction 5%–60% of tumor epithelial cells. EBV-DNA was detected in 8 / 10 of BC specimens positive for EBNA-1. Control specimens were negative by both techniques. 7 / 8 (87.5%) of EBV-DNA positive tumors were associated with > 3 lymph nodes involvement.

Conclusion
EBV is associated with some invasive BC in Egyptian females and may play a role in their etiology.