Viral infections and cancer: Epidemiological aspects

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Viral infections represent one of the areas in which cancer research has made the greatest advances in the last 20 years. In 1981, only two viruses were known to cause human cancer, i.e., the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the hepatitis B virus (HBV). By 1995, it was estimated that approximately 15% of all cancers occurring world-wide were attributable to viral infections, and the oncogenic role of seven viruses [i.e., EBV, HBV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human herpesvirus -8 (HHV-8), and human T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I)] has been well-established. In this paper, the epidemiological evidence concerning some of the major aspects of the association between viruses and cancer are summarised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-228
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cancer
  • Epidemiology
  • Viral infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)


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