Human Oncogenic Viruses: Nature, Discovery, and Running Around in Circles
Seven viruses collectively comprise an important cause of cancer, particularly in less developed countries and under conditions of immune suppression. Most of these viruses are common infections for which malignancy is a rare consequence. Viral tumors are by nature biological accidents and tumor viruses are generally ‘non-permissive’ for replication within tumor cells having contracted expression of viral products. These concepts coupled with epidemiological patterns of incidence and advances in technology has facilitated the search for oncogenic viral DNA, mRNA, and even protein as illustrated by Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV).
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