Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Percentage of cancers linked to viruses potentially overestimated

Date:
August 5, 2013
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
The results of a large-scale analysis of the association between DNA viruses and human malignancies suggest that many of the most common cancers are not associated with DNA viruses. The findings challenge earlier studies suggesting as high as 40 percent of tumors are caused by viruses.

The results of a large-scale analysis of the association between DNA viruses and human malignancies suggest that many of the most common cancers are not associated with DNA viruses. The findings, published in the August 2013 issue of the Journal of Virology, challenge earlier studies suggesting as high as 40 percent of tumors are caused by viruses.

For years scientists believed viruses played a role in the development of maybe 10 to 20 percent of cancers. In 2011, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden identified potential viral links to several cancers not previously associated with viruses, including brain tumors and prostate cancer, suggesting the real number could be as high as 40 percent. Since then, researchers have been working hard to find more associations, in part because viruses could provide targets for vaccines to prevent or cure these cancers.

To better understand the role of DNA viruses in human cancers, researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston sequenced RNA from 3775 malignant tumor samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas and then applied a robust bioinformatics algorithm to survey them for the presence of viral transcripts.

Those cancers not associated with DNA viruses included acute myeloid leukemia, cutaneous melanoma, low and high-grade gliomas of the brain (the latter killed Senator Edward Kennedy), and adenocarcinomas of the breast, colon and rectum, lung, prostate, ovaries, kidneys, and thyroid.

The findings, says Xiaoping Su, an author on the study, suggest the estimate that 40 percent of tumors are virus-related "should be much lower."

"The search for virus associations in these malignancies has consumed the efforts of many investigators," says Su, implying that his large-scale effort will spare researchers fruitless investigations.

The study also provides the framework for understanding how viruses integrate into cancer subtypes such as hepatocellular cancer, says Su. That might make it possible to personalize treatments by targeting genes that are located within known integration sites and that might be drivers of cancer initiation and progression. A key finding was that there are specific sites where viruses integrate into the host genome prior to initiating cancer, and that these sites are frequently located within particular host genes.

"This study highlights the importance of bioinformatics in defining the landscape of virus integration across cancer subtypes," says Su.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. D. Khoury, N. M. Tannir, M. D. Williams, Y. Chen, H. Yao, J. Zhang, E. J. Thompson, F. Meric-Bernstam, L. J. Medeiros, J. N. Weinstein, X. Su. Landscape of DNA Virus Associations across Human Malignant Cancers: Analysis of 3,775 Cases Using RNA-Seq. Journal of Virology, 2013; 87 (16): 8916 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00340-13

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Percentage of cancers linked to viruses potentially overestimated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805131017.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2013, August 5). Percentage of cancers linked to viruses potentially overestimated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805131017.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Percentage of cancers linked to viruses potentially overestimated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805131017.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins