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Study links virus to some cases of common skin cancer
Date:7/30/2009

from the mouth.

The investigators detected the virus in 26 of 177 SCC samples, 11 of 63 adjacent-skin samples, and one sample from a mouthwash. They found no viral DNA in any of the blood samples from 57 patients. In all, 21 of 58 SCC patients, or 36 percent, tested positive for the virus.

By sequencing the viral DNA from 31 normal and tumor samples, the researchers showed that the same mutation was present in all the viruses tested from tumors, and in 60 percent of the viruses tested from adjacent healthy-looking tissue.

"That suggests that the virus may develop a mutation that causes it to integrate into host-cell DNA, and, therefore, may play a role in causing the cancer," Toland says.

Next, Toland wants to test normal skin in healthy individuals to learn how common this virus is in people generally and to learn whether the virus actually integrates with the host DNA.

"If it proves to be a cancer-causing virus, and if it proves to be common in the general population, it might be something we should begin screening people for," she says.


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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
Darrell.Ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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