Brain metastases caused by solid tumors in others parts of the body and cause many cancer related deaths. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV or CMV) is recently been detected consistently using the latest methods reviewing brain metastases tumors from primary breast and colorectal cancers.
This report shows for the first time a very high prevalence of CMV infection in brain metastasis from both breast and colorectal cancers. CMV proteins now being proven to drive cancers were detected in 99% (n = 78) brain metastasis samples and also in 92% to 100% (n = 25) of corresponding breast and colorectal cancer specimens.
Patients who had low-grade CMV infections in the primary tumor or the brain metastasis had a longer time to tumor progression and overall longer survival (13.5 months Overall Survivial with low-grade infection compared to 6.9 months with high grade infections). Time to tumor progression was also longer with low-grade CMV infections at 65.1 months average versus 30 months with high-grade infection. Importantly, the presence of CMV in brain metastasis may open new treatment options as recently tests with Glioblastoma brain tumors have shown significant increases in survival by treating these highly prevalent CMV infected tumors with anti-virals like Valcyte.
Research also shows 94% of lymph node metastasis of breast cancer and 99% of brain metastasis of colorectal and breast cancers are CMV protein positive, but virus positivity is nearly absent in healthy surrounding tissues implying a viral presence in metastasis initiating cells.