BMC cancer 2018 02 0918(1) 170 doi 10.1186/s12885-018-4074-6
Breast cancer is considered the most common cancer in women worldwide and is the leading cause of cancer mortality. Sequences similar to Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus (MMTV) were detected in human breast cancer in several studies from different geographical areas. However, the role played by this virus in breast cancer tumorigenesis is not completely understood. These MMTV-like sequences were found to be associated with breast cancer of more malignant types. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of MMTV-like envelope gene (env) positivity in breast cancer and non-cancerous breast tissue from Saudi Arabia.
Detection of MMTV-like env proviral sequences was done using newly designed primers for conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred nighty four samples were collected from 103 females with breast cancer in addition to 51 control breast tissue obtained from individuals without cancer. We additionally investigated the association of proviral positivity with age of the patients, grade of breast cancer and presence of lymph node metastasis. The results were confirmed by sequencing.
The prevalence of MMTV-like env proviral positivity was 8.7% (9/103). MMTV env proviral sequences were detected in 5.9% (6/101) of breast cancer tissues and 9.7% (9/93) of non-cancerous adjacent tissues obtained from the same patients. None of the 51 control sample showed positive result for the MMTV env gene. No significant association was found between detection of the virus and the age of the patient, grade of the cancer or presence of metastasis.
We document the presence of low frequency of MMTV env provirus sequence among breast cancer patients from Saudi Arabia. Further studies are needed to explore the role of the MMTV in breast cancer.