Detection of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes in the serum of patients with EBV-associated Hodgkin's disease

Alice Gallagher, Alison A. Armstrong, Jane Mackenzie, Lesley Shield, Gulfaraz Khan, Annette Lake, Stephen Proctor, Penny Taylor, Geoffrey B. Clements, Ruth F. Jarrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

DNA from malignant cells is present in the serum/plasma of cancer patients and DNA from this source is amenable to analysis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the present study, we evaluated whether Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA is present in the serum of patients with EBV-associated Hodgkin's disease (HD). Using conventional PCR, EBV DNA was detected in serum from 30/33 patients with EBV-associated HD but in only 6/26 patients with non- EBV-associated disease (p < 0.001). Samples from healthy individuals were negative and only 5/12 infectious mononucleosis samples were positive. Real- time quantitative PCR was subsequently employed to determine the concentration of EBV DNA present in serum; among positive samples the level ranged from 1 to 705 copies per 125 μl of serum. Post-treatment samples from 5/14 cases with EBV-associated HD contained detectable EBV DNA; analysis of this small group of cases suggests that positivity in post-treatment samples correlates with risk factors indicative of a poor prognosis. Overall, our results are consistent with the notion that DNA from Reed-Sternberg cells is present in the serum of HD patients, and further suggest that serum EBV should be evaluated as a prognostic marker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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