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      Polyomavirus BK and prostate cancer: an unworthy scientific effort?

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          Abstract

          The Polyomavirus BK (BKV) has been proposed to be one of the possible co-factors in the genesis of prostate cancer (PCa) but, so far, the only convincing suggestion is the hypothesis of a “hit and run” carcinogenic mechanism induced by the virus at early stages of this disease. To support this hypothesis we conducted an updated systematic review on previous studies regarding the association between BKV and PCa, in order to interpret the contrasting results and to explore whether there might be a significant virus-disease link. This updated analysis provides evidence for a significant link between BKV expression and PCa development, particularly between the BKV infection and the cancer risk. Forthcoming scientific efforts that take cue from this study might overcome the atavistic and fruitless debate regarding the BKV-PCa association.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Inflammation in prostate carcinogenesis.

          About 20% of all human cancers are caused by chronic infection or chronic inflammatory states. Recently, a new hypothesis has been proposed for prostate carcinogenesis. It proposes that exposure to environmental factors such as infectious agents and dietary carcinogens, and hormonal imbalances lead to injury of the prostate and to the development of chronic inflammation and regenerative 'risk factor' lesions, referred to as proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA). By developing new experimental animal models coupled with classical epidemiological studies, genetic epidemiological studies and molecular pathological approaches, we should be able to determine whether prostate cancer is driven by inflammation, and if so, to develop new strategies to prevent the disease.
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            Proliferative inflammatory atrophy of the prostate: implications for prostatic carcinogenesis.

            Proliferation in the setting of longstanding chronic inflammation appears to predispose to carcinoma in the liver, large bowel, urinary bladder, and gastric mucosa. Focal prostatic atrophy, which is associated with chronic inflammation, is highly proliferative (Ruska et al, Am J Surg Pathol 1998, 22:1073-1077); thus the focus of this study was to more fully characterize the phenotype of the atrophic cells to assess the feasibility of the proposal that they may be targets of neoplastic transformation. The pi-class glutathione S-transferase (GSTP1), a carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme, is not expressed in >90% of prostate carcinomas (CaPs). GSTP1 promoter hypermethylation, which appears to permanently silence transcription, is the most frequently detected genomic alteration in CaP (Lee et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1994, 91:11733-11737; >90% of cases). In high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), this alteration is present in at least 70% of cases (Brooks et al, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 1998, 7:531-536). Although normal-appearing prostate secretory cells rarely express GSTP1, they remain capable of expression, inasmuch as GSTP1 promoter hypermethylation is not detected in normal prostate. Fifty-five lesions from paraffin-embedded prostatectomy specimens (n = 42) were stained for GSTP1, using immunohistochemistry. Adjacent sections were stained for p27(Kip1), Ki-67, androgen receptor (AR), prostate-specific antigen (PSA), prostate-specific acid phosphatase (PSAP), Bcl-2, and basal cell-specific cytokeratins (34betaE12). With normal prostate epithelium as the internal standard, staining was scored for each marker in the atrophic epithelium. The lesions showed two cell types, basal cells staining positive for 34betaE12, and atrophic secretory-type cells staining weakly negative for 34betaE12. All lesions showed elevated levels of Bcl-2 in many of the secretory-type cells. All lesions had an elevated staining index for the proliferation marker Ki-67 in the secretory layer and decreased expression of p27(Kip1), a finding reminiscent of high-grade PIN (De Marzo et al, Am J Pathol 1998, 153:911-919). Consistent with partial secretory cell differentiation, the luminal cells showed weak to moderate staining for androgen receptor and the secretory proteins PSA and PSAP. All atrophic lesions showed elevated GSTP1 expression in many of the luminal secretory-type cells. Because all lesions are hyperproliferative, are associated with inflammation, and have the distinct morphological appearance recognized as prostatic atrophy, we suggest the term "proliferative inflammatory atrophy" (PIA). Elevated levels of GSTP1 may reflect its inducible nature in secretory cells, possibly in response to increased electrophile or oxidant stress. Elevated Bcl-2 expression may be responsible for the very low apoptotic rate in PIA and is consistent with the conclusion that PIA is a regenerative lesion. We discuss our proposal to integrate the atrophy and high-grade PIN hypotheses of prostate carcinogenesis by suggesting that atrophy may give rise to carcinoma either directly, as previously postulated, or indirectly by first developing into high-grade PIN.
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              Plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA and residual disease after radiotherapy for undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

              Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA can be detected and quantified in the plasma of patients with EBV-related tumors, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Although NPC at early stages can be cured by radical radiotherapy, there is a high recurrence rate in patients with advanced NPC. The pretreatment level of circulating EBV DNA is a prognostic factor for NPC, but the prognostic value of post-treatment EBV DNA has not been studied. We designed a prospective study in Hong Kong, China, to investigate the value of plasma EBV DNA as a prognostic factor for NPC. One hundred seventy NPC patients, without metastatic disease at presentation, were treated with a uniform radiotherapy protocol. Circulating EBV DNA was measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction before treatment and 6-8 weeks after radiotherapy was completed. Risk ratios (RRs) were determined with a Cox regression model, and associations of various factors with progression-free and overall survival and recurrence rates were determined with a stepwise Cox proportional hazards model. All statistical tests were two-sided. Ninety-nine percent of patients achieved complete clinical remission. Levels of post-treatment EBV DNA dominated the effect of levels of pretreatment EBV DNA for progression-free survival. The RR for NPC recurrence was 11.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.53 to 25.43) for patients with higher post-treatment EBV DNA and 2.5 (95% CI = 1.14 to 5.70) for patients with higher pretreatment EBV DNA. Higher levels of post-treatment EBV DNA were statistically significantly associated with overall survival (P<.001; RR for NPC recurrence = 8.6, 95% CI = 3.69 to 19.97). The positive and negative predictive values for NPC recurrence for a higher level of post-treatment EBV DNA were 87% (95% CI = 58% to 98%) and 83% (95% CI = 76% to 89%), respectively. Levels of post-treatment plasma EBV DNA in patients with NPC appear to strongly predict progression-free and overall survival and to accurately reflect the post-treatment residual tumor load.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Oncoscience
                Oncoscience
                ImpactJ
                Oncoscience
                Impact Journals LLC
                2331-4737
                2014
                30 April 2014
                : 1
                : 4
                : 296-303
                Affiliations
                1 Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milano, Italy
                2 Oncology Unit, Division of Urology, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Maurizio Provenzano, Maurizio.Provenzano@ 123456usz.ch
                Article
                4278296
                © 2014 Delbue et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                Research Perspective

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