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 September 23, 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 September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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