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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(10), 13737-13747; doi:10.3390/ijms131013737

The Criteria to Confirm the Role of Epstein-Barr Virus in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Initiation

1 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, 651 Dongfeng East Road, Guangzhou 510060, China 2 Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA 3 Laboratory of Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology, Van Andel Research Institute, 333 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2012 / Revised: 16 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 23 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology (special issue))
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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), but it remains obscure whether EBV is a viral cause of, or only an accompaniment of, NPC. We will discuss the accumulated evidence pointing to the relationship between EBV infection and NPC initiation from epidemiologic, pathogenic, molecular oncogenic, and experimental animal studies. We believe that convincing evidence from these perspectives must be provided before we can ascertain the causal role of EBV infection in NPC. Specifically, (1) epidemiological studies should reveal EBV infection as a risk factor; (2) the introduction of EBV into an animal model should produce NPC; (3) in the animal model NPC, the main molecular event(s) or the involved signaling pathway(s) should be identical to that in human NPC; and (4) finally and most importantly, prevention of EBV infection or clearance of EBV from infected individuals must be able to reduce the incidence rate of NPC.
Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; tumorigenesis; infection Epstein-Barr virus; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; tumorigenesis; infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Gu, A.-D.; Zeng, M.-S.; Qian, C.-N. The Criteria to Confirm the Role of Epstein-Barr Virus in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Initiation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 13737-13747.

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