Epstein-barr virus, human papillomavirus and mouse mammary tumour virus as multiple viruses in breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2012 ;7(11):e48788. Epub 2012 Nov 19. PMID: 23183846
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this investigation is to determine if Epstein Barr virus (EBV), high risk human papillomavirus (HPV), and mouse mammary tumour viruses (MMTV) co-exist in some breast cancers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All the specimens were from women residing in Australia. For investigations based on standard PCR, we used fresh frozen DNA extracts from 50 unselected invasive breast cancers. For normal breast specimens, we used DNA extracts from epithelial cells from milk donated by 40 lactating women. For investigations based on in situ PCR we used 27 unselected archival formalin fixed breast cancer specimens and 18 unselected archival formalin fixed normal breast specimens from women who had breast reduction surgery. Thirteen of these fixed breast cancer specimens were ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis) and 14 were predominantly invasive ductal carcinomas (idc).
RESULTS: EBV sequences were identified in 68%, high risk HPV sequences in 50%, and MMTV sequences in 78% of DNA extracted from 50 invasive breast cancer specimens. These same viruses were identified in selected normal and breast cancer specimens by in situ PCR. Sequences from more than one viral type were identified in 72% of the same breast cancer specimens. Normal controls showed these viruses were also present in epithelial cells in human milk - EBV (35%), HPV, 20%) and MMTV (32%) of 40 milk samples from normal lactating women, with multiple viruses being identified in 13% of the same milk samples.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that (i) EBV, HPV and MMTV gene sequences are present and co-exist in many human breast cancers, (ii) the presence of these viruses in breast cancer is associated with young age of diagnosis and possibly an increased grade of breast cancer.