Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Breast Cancer and Simian Virus 40 Infection

Martini, Fernanda; Mazzoni, Elisa; Corallini, Alfredo; Taronna, Angelo; Querzoli, Patrizia; Magri, Eros; Marci, Roberto; Dolcetti, Riccardo; Rezza, Giovanni; Barbanti-Brodano, Giuseppe; Tognon, Mauro

doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31828d3ae6
Letters
Free
SDC

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

Section of Cell Biology and Molecular GeneticsSchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italy

Section of MicrobiologySchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italy

Section of Anatomic PathologySchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italy

Section of Obstetrics and GynecologySchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italy

Cancer Bioimmunotherapy UnitCentro di Riferimento OncologicoIRCCS, National Cancer InstituteAviano, Italy

Istituto Superiore di SanitàDepartment of Infectious DiseasesRoma, Italy

Section of MicrobiologySchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italy

Section of Cell Biology and Molecular GeneticsSchool of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerrara, Italytgm@unife.it

Elisa Mazzoni is a fellowship recipient of the Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, Milan, Italy. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supported, in part, by grants from Fondazione Buzzi UNICEM, Casale Monferrato; ASLEM, Repubblica di San Marino; Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cento, Cento, Italy; FAR projects, Università di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Contract 10301, Milano, Italy; and MIUR PRIN, COFIN 2008, Rome, Italy.

Supplemental digital content is available through direct URL citations in the HTML and PDF versions of this article (www.epidem.com). This content is not peer-reviewed or copy-edited; it is the sole responsibility of the author.

To the Editor:

Human breast cancer is a common tumor in women. Although its incidence has stabilized in recent years,1 breast cancer remains the second most common cause of cancer death in women.1 Some studies indicate that oncogenic viruses, including Simian virus 40 (SV40), are involved in the development of breast cancer.2,3 SV40 footprints have been reported in breast cancer cases,3 whereas SV40 virions have been isolated from an epithelial cell line obtained from the milk of a healthy woman.4

Recent investigations, based on a specific immunologic assay with synthetic peptides mimicking SV40 viral capsid protein antigens (named mimotopes), have shown that serum samples from healthy people react with SV40 mimotopes with a prevalence of 18%,5 while a higher prevalence (26%) was detected in sera from patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, suggesting an association between SV40 and this subset of mesothelioma.6

Many investigations, mainly carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, have reported SV40 footprints in tissue specimens from normal subjects and oncologic patients. Still, the possible association of SV40 with breast cancer has not been investigated extensively.7,8 We carried out a study to establish whether SV40 antibodies could be detected in a cohort of patients with breast cancer. We did indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing with specific synthetic peptides derived from SV40 viral capsid proteins used as antigens.5,6 Serum IgG antibodies against SV40 VPs antigens were searched in serum samples from patients with breast cancer (n = 78) and serum samples from women who were blood donors (n = 87) with the same median age (42 years). Further details of methods are provided in the electronic appendix http://links.lww.com/EDE/A674.

We tested samples for reactivity to SV40 epitopes from VP1 B peptide and VP2/3 C peptide.5,6 In women with breast cancer, the prevalence of the two epitopes was 18% (14/78) and 17% (13/78), respectively. We considered sera to be SV40-positive when there was reactivity to both epitopes. The prevalence of the combination in patients with breast cancer was 15% (12/78). In women who were blood donors, 21% (18/87) were positive for the VP1 B peptide, 23% (20/87) were positive for the VP2/3 C peptide, and 18% were positive for both. Thus, we found no evidence of higher SV40 infection in women with breast cancer, with the observed difference going in the opposite direction. The human neuro-peptide, used as a negative control antigen,5,6 did not react with any of the SV40-positive sera.

Considering the serologic profile of serum antibody reactivity to SV40 mimotopes, the mean optical density of sera in breast cancer women (0.1518 ± 0.007) was lower than that in healthy women 0.2464 ± 0.023 (P < 0.01, unpaired t test; Figure).

FIGURE

FIGURE

We found that serum antibodies to antigens from the oncogenic SV40 were present in the sera of both women with breast cancer and a sample of healthy women, with no indication of excess among patients with breast cancer. The low prevalence of SV40 antibodies in serum samples from women with breast cancer is in agreement with an earlier investigation carried out in breast cancer DNA by PCR techniques.3 However, the same study failed to detect SV40 footprints in normal subjects.3 The similar prevalence of SV40 antibodies in sera from breast cancer women and healthy women suggests no association of SV40 infection with breast cancer. SV40 is likely a passenger not involved in the development of breast cancer.

Back to Top | Article Outline

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank Eugene O. Major, the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD, for the hyperimmune serum against JCV.

Fernanda Martini

Elisa Mazzoni

Section of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

Alfredo Corallini

Angelo Taronna

Section of Microbiology

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

Patrizia Querzoli

Eros Magri

Section of Anatomic Pathology

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

Roberto Marci

Section of Obstetrics and Gynecology

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

Riccardo Dolcetti

Cancer Bioimmunotherapy Unit

Centro di Riferimento Oncologico

IRCCS, National Cancer Institute

Aviano, Italy

Giovanni Rezza

Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Department of Infectious Diseases

Roma, Italy

Giuseppe Barbanti-Brodano

Section of Microbiology

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

Mauro Tognon

Section of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

School of Medicine and Surgery

University of Ferrara

Ferrara, Italy

tgm@unife.it

Back to Top | Article Outline

REFERENCES

1. DeSantis C, Siegel R, Bandi P, Jemal A. Breast cancer statistics, 2011. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011;61:409–418
2. Amarante MK, Watanabe MA. The possible involvement of virus in breast cancer. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2009;135:329–337
3. Hachana M, Trimeche M, Ziadi S, Amara K, Korbi S. Evidence for a role of the Simian Virus 40 in human breast carcinomas. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009;113:43–58
4. Caron de Fromentel C, Nardeux PC, Soussi T, et al. Epithelial HBL-100 cell line derived from milk of an apparently healthy woman harbours SV40 genetic information. Exp Cell Res. 1985;160:83–94
5. Corallini A, Mazzoni E, Taronna A, et al. Specific antibodies reacting with simian virus 40 capsid protein mimotopes in serum samples from healthy blood donors. Hum Immunol. 2012;73:502–510
6. Mazzoni E, Corallini A, Cristaudo A, et al. High prevalence of serum antibodies reacting with simian virus 40 capsid protein mimotopes in patients affected by malignant pleural mesothelioma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:18066–18071
7. Barbanti-Brodano G, Sabbioni S, Martini F, Negrini M, Corallini A, Tognon M. Simian virus 40 infection in humans and association with human diseases: results and hypotheses. Virology. 2004;318:1–9
8. Martini F, Corallini A, Balatti V, Sabbioni S, Pancaldi C, Tognon M. Simian virus 40 in humans. Infect Agents Cancer. 2007;2:13

Supplemental Digital Content

Back to Top | Article Outline
© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc