“During the last years increasing evidence implies that human cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be attributed to human malignancies arising from numerous tissues. In this perspective, we will review and discuss the potential mechanisms through which CMV infection may contribute to brain tumors by affecting tumor cell initiation, progression and metastasis formation. Recent evidence also suggests that anti-CMV treatment results in impaired tumor growth of CMV positive xenografts in animal models and potentially increased survival in CMV positive glioblastoma patients. Based on these observations and the high tumor promoting capacity of this virus, the classical and novel antiviral therapies against CMV should be revisited as they may represent a great promise for halting tumor progression and lower cancer deaths.”
Archives For Oncogene
USC confirms CMV as a Cancer causing Oncovirus and drive the most common salivary cancers.
An important new study from the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics at USC has confirmed cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a cause of the most common salivary gland cancers. CMV joins a group of fewer than 10 identified oncoviruses – cancer-causing viruses – including HPV.
The findings, published online in the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology over the weekend, are the latest in a series of studies by USC researchers that together demonstrate CMV’s role as an oncovirus, a virus that can either trigger cancer in healthy cells or exploit mutant cell weaknesses to enhance tumor formation.
Lead author Michael Melnick, professor of developmental genetics in the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and Co-Director of the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics, said the conclusion that CMV is an oncovirus came after rigorous study of both human salivary gland tumors and salivary glands of postnatal mice.
CMV’s classification as an oncovirus has important implications for human health. The virus, which has an extremely high prevalence in humans, can cause severe illness and death in patients with compromised immune systems and can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to CMV for the first time while pregnant. It may also be connected to other cancers besides salivary gland cancer, Melnick added.