Role of KSHV infection in the pathogenesis of sarcoma and lymphoma


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Thomas Schulz

Hannover Medical School, Germany

Abstract

Discovered 15 years ago, Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV), or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), has recently been classified as a group I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research against Cancer (IARC) on the basis of overwhelming epidemiological evidence linking this virus to the different forms of Kaposi Sarcoma. In addition to the strong epidemiological evidence, experimental data point to an involvement of this virus in the pathogenesis of this endothelial cell derived tumour, as well as to two lymphoproliferative diseases, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and the plasma cell variant of multicentric Castlemans Disease (MCD), including plasmablastic lymphoma arising from MCD lesions.

I will review the evidence that led to the classification of KSHV as a group I carcinogen and highlight recent developments in our attempts to understand the involvement of this virus that in malignant disease.