Viruses and Human Cancer

Published on 04/03/2015 by admin

Filed under Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine

Last modified 04/03/2015

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Chapter 11

Viruses and Human Cancer

Summary of Key Points

• More than 15% of human cancers are known today to be caused by viruses.

• A hallmark of virally induced cancers is that they are associated with persistent viral infections.

• Although some viruses encode oncogenes that directly contribute to the cancers they cause, other viruses are thought to result in cancer indirectly by causing chronic destruction of the target organ from which the cancer arises.

• The etiologic role of viruses in cancer is established through a combination of epidemiological and molecular evidence.

• In many cases, the cancers caused by the virus represent dead-end streets for the virus; that is, the virus is no longer able to replicate in the cancer.

• Virally induced cancers can be prevented through the use of effective prophylactic vaccines.

• Viral genes expressed in associated cancers represent targets for therapeutic vaccines and viral-specific anticancer drugs.