Epstein-Barr Virus May Play a Role in Breast Cancer

Did you know that an estimated 90 percent of all human beings on Earth are thought to be infected by Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)? Epstein Barr Virus is a type of herpes viral infection that in most cases causes mild or no symptoms, and yet EBV is thought to be associated with lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, and certain other cancers. Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard Medical School are now investigating the mechanisms by which EBV may increase the risk of breast cancer. They implanted EBV-infected human mammary epithelial cells (MECs) into mice and found that EBV infection enabled certain proteins to speed up the formation of breast cancer. Researchers also observed genetic characteristics normally associated with high-grade, estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer. Read more here.

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