The possible involvement of virus in breast cancer

  • Marla Karine Amarante
  • Maria Angelica Ehara WatanabeEmail author


It is well known that the etiology of human breast cancer is significantly affected by environmental factors. Virus-associated cancer refers to a cancer where viral infection results in the malignant transformation of the host’s infected cells. Human papillomaviruses (HPV), mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) and Epstein–Barr (EBV) virus are prime candidate viruses as agents of human breast cancer. The precise role that viruses play in tumorigenesis is not clear, but it seems that they are responsible for causing only one in a series of steps required for cancer development. The idea that a virus could cause breast cancer has been investigated for quite some time, even though breast cancer could be a hereditary disease; however, hereditary breast cancer is estimated to account for a small percentage of all breast cancer cases. Based on current research, this review present at moment, substantial, but not conclusive, evidence that HPV, EBV and MMTV may be involved in breast cancer.


Breast cancer MMTV HPV EBV 



This review was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and the Londrina State University Coordination for Postgraduation (PROPPG-UEL). Doctor post graduate student, Marla Karine Amarante is a fellow from CAPES. The entire article was revised by Philip S. P. Badiz and Adrianne Toledo, a British-born scientific text editor.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marla Karine Amarante
    • 1
  • Maria Angelica Ehara Watanabe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathological Sciences, Biological Sciences CenterState University of LondrinaLondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias PatologicasUniversidade Estadual de LondrinaLondrinaBrazil

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