Research led by Ashok Aiyar, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, showing that a single gene can control growth in cancers related to the Epstein-Barr virus and that existing therapeutics can inactivate it, will be published in the June 12, 2009 online issue of PLoS Pathogens.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is closely associated with many human cancers such as Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, AIDS-related lymphomas, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, cancers of the nose and throat, and stomach cancer. In many of these malignancies, proteins made by EBV are necessary for tumor cells to grow indiscriminately. This is especially true of AIDS-related lymphomas and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, which are serious complications of AIDS and transplant surgery. These cancers are responsible for thousands of deaths each year in the United States.