IDR - Immune Diagnostics & Research


Tumorigenesis related to retroviral infections

Maria Braoudaki, Fotini Tzortzatou-Stathopoulou

University Research Institute for the Study and Treatment of Childhood Genetic and Malignant Diseases, University of Athens, «Aghia Sophia» Children’s Hospital, Athens



Retroviral infections are considered important risk factors for cancer development in humans since approximately 15-20% of cancer worldwide is caused by an infectious agent. This report discusses the most established oncogenic retroviruses, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-1 and -2), Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV), Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV), murine mammary tumor virus (MMTV), bovine leukemia virus, (BLV), Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV), and Friend spleen focus-forming virus (SFFV). The role of retroviruses as inducers of carcinogenesis, the mechanisms underlying oncogenic transformation, and the routes of transmission of several cancer-related retroviral infections are also described. Finally, the impact of cancer-related retroviral infections in the developing world is addressed. This review is an update of carcinogenesis caused by retroviral infections.


cancer; retroviruses; retrovirus oncogenesis; transmission; HIV; HTLV

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