Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment

: 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 366-

Cytomegalovirus infection and solid tumors

Viroj Wiwanitkit 
 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India; Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China; Department of Biological Science, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Viroj Wiwanitkit
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Cytomegalovirus infection and solid tumors.Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:366-366

How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V. Cytomegalovirus infection and solid tumors. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 22 ];3:366-366
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I would like to share my ideas on the article titled, “Cytomegalovirus infection in solid malignancies,” published by Agarwal et al. The authors noted that “CMV infection and its manifestation in patients with solid malignancies is probably underdiagnosed.[1]” Moreover, Bansal and Ghafur concluded that, “It is prudent not only to report the incidence of CMV infection, but also to conduct prospective research to establish the risk factors for CMV reactivation and define the magnitude of the problem.”[2] In fact, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a common viral infection, with a high seroprevalence in many developing countries. The reactivation of CMV is possible in immunocompromised hosts, including patients with cancer. As is the case with other viruses, CMV reactivation is an important clinical problem in the management of patients with malignancy.[3] Therefore, examining for possible CMV reactivation is necessary in the management of these patients.

In addition to CMV reactivation in patients with malignancy, another interesting aspect is the carcinogenic property of this virus. A possible clinical association is suggested for some specific cancer types, such as oral cancer [4] and breast cancer.[5] The interrelationship between CMV infection and carcinogenesis is an interesting topic in clinical oncology. A possible concurrent pathogenic and carcinogenic infection can easily be missed if no specific investigation is performed. For example, CMV detection is commonly reported in cancers of the fallopian tube; the same malignant tissue is also commonly found to be infected with another known oncogenic virus called the human papillomavirus.[6] Additionally, from the perspective of basic laboratory medicine, consideration should be given to recognizing diagnostic tests for CMV and also to recognizing the limitations in the diagnostic sensitivity of these tests.

Although some statistical analyses are suggestive of an association between CMV and cancer, the identification of the pathophysiological pathway of CMV-related carcinogenesis might provide conclusive evidence of such an association. CMV might induce oncomodulation which is considered an important pro-carcinogenic process.[7] Therefore, several genetic and environmental factors must be considered when analyzing the data regarding the prevalence of CMV in solid tumors.

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1Agrawal AK, Rajendra A, Noronha V, Joshi A, Patil VM, Menon N, et al. Cytomegalovirus infection in solid malignancies. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:19-24.
2Bansal N, Ghafur KA. Cytomegalovirus reactivation in solid tumors: Are we missing the bus (bug)? Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:76-7.
3Rolston KV. Infections in cancer patients with solid tumors: A review. Infect Dis Ther 2017;6:69-83.
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6Paradowska E, Jablonska A, Studzinska M, Wilczynski M, Wilczynski JR. Detection and genotyping of CMV and HPV in tumors and fallopian tubes from epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Sci Rep 2019;9:19935.
7Herbein G. The human cytomegalovirus, from oncomodulation to oncogenesis. Viruses 2018;10. pii: E408. doi: 10.3390/v10080408.