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article imageDoubts cast on breast cancer-virus link

By Tim Sandle     May 2, 2014 in Science
Breast cancer and brain tumors are not caused by viruses, according to a genetic analysis. The results call into question some drug trial regimes.
For the study scientists examined more than 4,000 tumors that mapped the linkages between viruses and 19 different types of cancer. After filtering out the genetic information corresponding to known human genes, they screened for known virus genes and used an additional analysis to identify any previously unknown viruses.
Some previous studies suggested links between breast cancer and Epstein-Barr virus and between brain tumors and cytomegalovirus. The new study does not support those associations.
The results suggest that some treatment regimens may not be effective. For example, the findings suggest treating brain tumor patients with antivirals is misguided. Some researchers are starting to realize that we need truly unbiased methods to uncover meaningful associations.
This type of work is important because knowing the cause of a particular patient's cancer can also help doctors personalize their treatment. The study was undertaken by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
More about Breast Cancer, Virus, Cancer, Breast
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