1. Radiation Oncology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3. Virology Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
4. Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a human herpes virus which infects over 90% of the world's population. This virus has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many types of cancers. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. EBV has been studied as a possible cause of human breast cancer. The data related to the possible association of EBV with breast cancer are contradictory and therefore inconclusive. Here we searched for EBV in Iranian patients with breast cancer.
Methods: Paraffin embedded formalin fixed specimens were prepared from malignant tumor tissue from eighteen Iranian patients with clinically proven breast cancer. EBV as well as human cells were detected and quantified by PCR and real-time PCR, respectively. The ratio of EBV/human cells was calculated in specimens from all patients.
Results: EBV was not detected in any of breast cancer tissues in our study. Quantitative analysis showed that EBV is not present in any specimens at level of one virus per each human cell.
Conclusion: Our results showed that EBV may not be associated with breast cancer in our patients suggesting that EBV might not have a significant role in this disease in Iran.
Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus, breast cancer, paraffin embedding, real-time polymerase chain reaction