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||Epstein-Barr virus antibodies and the risk of associated malignancies: review of the literature.
||Coghill AE, Hildesheim A
||Am J Epidemiol
||2014 Oct 1
||Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a ubiquitous herpes virus that infects 90% of humans by adulthood, is linked to the development of various cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, gastric cancer, Burkitt lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and Hodgkin lymphoma. We reviewed the literature published since 1980 regarding an association between antibodies against EBV proteins and the risk of EBV-associated malignancies. Immunoglobulin A antibody levels that are elevated before diagnosis have consistently been associated with the risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and patients with Hodgkin lymphoma have significantly higher immunoglobulin G antibody levels than disease-free controls. However, the link between the immune response to EBV and other EBV-associated malignancies was less clear. Although evidence of an association between the risk of Burkitt lymphoma and immunoglobulin G antibodies was consistent for available studies, the sample sizes were limited. Evidence for a link between antibodies against EBV and risk of either gastric cancer or NHL was inconsistent. Future investigations should account for tumor EBV status because only 7%-10% of gastric tumors and select NHL subtypes are related to EBV infection. Comparing differences in the associations between the humoral immune response to EBV and disease risk across cancers may help elucidate how this ubiquitous virus contributes to distinct tumors globally.