Association between Epstein-Barr virus and Burkitt's lymphoma in Taiwan

Tsu Yi Chao, Tow Yeuan Wang, Wei Hua Lee

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13 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. The association between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) in Taiwan is not clear. In this study, the authors attempted to determine the frequency of the occurrence of EBV infection in patients with BL in Taiwan. METHODS. A retrospective study was performed using a nonisotopic in situ hybridization technique to detect fire presence of EBV-encoded small RNAs (EBERs) in paraffin embedded BL tissues. Tissues of other types of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) were used as controls. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to examine the presence of an EBV- encoded protein, latent membrane protein (LMP), and p53 in specimens. RESULTS. EBERs were detectable in 10 of 18 BL specimens. It was present in the cervical lymph nodes (LNs) in six of the seven cases of cervical tumors, in the maxillary region in one case, in one of two cases of axillary LNs, and in the abdominal tumors in two of the seven cases of intraabdominal disease. EBER positive cells were diffusely present in all tumors except in one abdominal BL, in which only a few EBER positive cells were scattered in a small part of the tumor. EBER positive cells were not detected in fire case with BL in an inguinal LN and in the seven cases with intraabdominal tumors. Immunohistochemical studies showed that LMP and p53 were expressed in 3 and 4 of the 18 cases, respectively. In another 20 NHLs in peripheral LNs, EBERs were detectable in only 1 case of diffuse large cell histology with numerous reactive T cells in which only large tumor cells expressed EBERs and laMP. EBERs were not detected in any of the ten cases of extranodal NHL. CONCLUSIONS. In Taiwan, EBV is frequently associated with BL occurring outside the abdomen but rarely with intraabdominal BL. The overall association between EBV and BL in Taiwan is intermediate compared with other regions of the world. These results support the theory that the frequency of EBV associated with BL is influenced by the endemicity of EBV and/or the socioeconomic status of a country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Burkitt's lymphoma
  • Epstein- Barr virus-encoded small RNAs (EBERs)
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In situ hybridization
  • Latent membrane protein
  • p53
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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