Our previous studies found that patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) had a higher incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in serum than patients with T-cell NHL or other cancers. We sought to identify a possible role of HBV infection in B-cell NHL tumorigenesis and to understand its underlying clinical relevance. Fresh and paraffin-embedded primary tumor tissue from patients with NHL as well as from those with other lymphatic system diseases were investigated by PCR and immunohistochemistry. Many more patients with B-cell lymphoma whose serum was positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were also positive for HBV-DNA than were those with T-cell NHL or other lymphatic system diseases whose serum was positive for HBsAg, in both fresh (55 vs. 15.4%) and paraffin-embedded (38.3 vs. 11.8%) tissue. Positive expression of the HBV-associated proteins HBsAg and hepatitis B core antigen was found in B-cell NHL lymphocytes and endothelial cells. Only 8.3% of patients with B-cell NHL who were negative for HBsAg but positive for other HBV markers were positive for HBV-DNA in tumor tissue. These results suggest that chronic HBV infection in lymph nodes could be associated with B-cell lymphoma.
aDepartments of Medical Oncology
bGastric and Pancreatic Surgery
cPathology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangdong
dState Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Guangzhou, China
eDepartment of Health Disparities Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA
*Feng Wang and Shuqiang Yuan contributed equally to this study.
Correspondence to Dr Rui-hua Xu, MD, PhD, Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China Tel: +86 208 734 3228; fax: +86 208 734 3468; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received September 15, 2010
Accepted June 2, 2011