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 28, 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 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. 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