High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) can be present and cooperate with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) to promote the onset and progression of various cancers, including cervical, breast, head and neck, and colorectal. This investigation explores the co-prevalence of high-risk HPV and EBV in 74 breast cancer tissues from Qatari women using polymerase chain reaction.

Researchers found that high-risk HPV and EBV are present in 48/74 (65%) and 36/74 (49%) of the cases, respectively. While we noted that the presence of HPV presence is associated with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) (p = .008), the presence of EBV did not correlate with any breast cancer subgroup. Moreover, our data revealed that high-risk HPV and EBV are co-present in 35/74 (47%) of the samples, and their co-presence is significantly associated with tumor grade (p = .04 and tumor stage (p = .04).

These outcomes concluded that HPV and EBV are commonly co-present in breast cancer, and their association could be linked with a more aggressive tumor phenotype. Thus, further investigations are essential to understand the underlying mechanisms of HPV and EBV cooperation in breast carcinogenesis.

Reference: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2020.1802977