Epstein-Barr virus is absent in gastric superficial neoplastic lesions
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with about 9% of all gastric carcinomas, but its role in gastric carcinogenesis remains unclear since there is lack of evidence of EBV presence in pre-neoplastic lesions of gastric mucosa. This study intends to determine the prevalence of EBV in gastric dysplasia and superficial neoplasia to clarify whether EBV infection is an early or late event in gastric cancer development. This retrospective study included a total of 242 gastric lesions from 199 consecutive patients who were referred for endoscopic resection. The histological classification of lesions includes 137 low- and high-grade dysplasia and 105 superficial carcinomas. EBV infection was investigated by EBER-ISH. Results showed that EBV was not detected in any epithelial cells of any case with dysplasia or superficial carcinomas, although we observed the presence of a small number of EBV-infected lymphocytes in 2.1% of all lesions. These results showed that EBV is not present in gastric dysplasia neither in superficial carcinomas suggesting that EBV carcinogenesis is a late event in well/moderately differentiated gastric carcinogenesis.
KeywordsGastric dysplasia Neoplastic lesion Gastric cancer Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) EBVaGC
Authors would like to acknowledge the support of Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPCC-NRNorte) for the development of this project.
JR, HS, PPN, RM, conception and design of the study; JR and MM, EBV detection and data analysis; AG and LPA, histological review of cases and results; DL, MDR and PPN, cases selection and clinical data collection; JR, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the manuscript, final approval; JR and HS, analysis and interpretation of data, manuscript writing; all authors were able to review the article and give final approval.
Joana Ribeiro was granted with a PhD Scholarship (SFRH/BD/107740/2015) from FCT-Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures were approved by the Ethical Committee of Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (CES IPO 80/2014).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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