The landscape of viral associations in human cancers
A new paper from the PCAWG pathogens group (that we are a part of) is out today in Nature Genetics: 'The landscape of viral associations in human cancers'. Plenty of really interesting insights in there.
We discovered traces of 23 different virus types in 356 cancer patients, with 13 percent of the samples having evidence of the presence of viruses. When analysing the whole cancer genome, we discovered traces of viruses in considerably more tumours than in earlier studies that were based on investigating the RNA only. We also further identified some of the mechanisms that viruses use to trigger changes in the DNA of cancer cells.
This is the first time that a systematic study of the majority of cancer types for viruses has been made. It is important as unveiling new links between infection and cancer types has the potential to provide actionable opportunities, for example HPV vaccines, which could reduce the global impact of cancer.
This is part of the hashtag#PanCancer suite of papers.