Human papilloma virus (HPV) and Epstein Barr virus (EBV) are present in more than half of malignant prostate cancer cases amongst Australian men, a new study has found.
The two viruses are commonly linked with human cancers. A high-risk strain of the human papilloma virus, HPV 18, is often associated with cervical cancer and breast cancer.
The presence of these viruses was not conclusive of prostate cancer as HPV was also present in normal and benign prostate samples. However, researchers say it’s unlikely that their presence was harmless.
The study also suggested it was possible for HPV and EBV to work together to promote the survival of cancer cells.
While the research could differ between cervical cancer cells and glandular prostate cells, researchers said this finding was important to our understanding and prevention of prostate cancer.