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High hepatitis B virus infection in B-cell lymphoma tissue and its potential clinical relevance

Wang, Fenga,d*; Yuan, Shuqiangb*; Teng, Kai-yuana,d; Garcia-Prieto, Celiae; Luo, Hui-yana,d; Zeng, Mu-shengd; Rao, Hui-lanc,d; Xia, Yia,d; Jiang, Wen-qia,d; Huang, Hui-qianga,d; Xia, Zhong-juna,d; Sun, Xiao-feia,d; Xu, Rui-huaa,d

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: May 2012 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 261–267
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e3283498e87
Research Papers: Hematological cancer

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:

Received September 15, 2010

Accepted June 2, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.