Published online Feb 20, 2015. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v5.i1.1
Peer-review started: October 5, 2014
First decision: October 28, 2014
Revised: November 13, 2014
Accepted: December 29, 2014
Article in press: December 31, 2014
Published online: February 20, 2015
During the last years increasing evidence implies that human cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be attributed to human malignancies arising from numerous tissues. In this perspective, we will review and discuss the potential mechanisms through which CMV infection may contribute to brain tumors by affecting tumor cell initiation, progression and metastasis formation. Recent evidence also suggests that anti-CMV treatment results in impaired tumor growth of CMV positive xenografts in animal models and potentially increased survival in CMV positive glioblastoma patients. Based on these observations and the high tumor promoting capacity of this virus, the classical and novel antiviral therapies against CMV should be revisited as they may represent a great promise for halting tumor progression and lower cancer deaths.
Core tip: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has recently been detected in several human cancers. These findings have raised several concerns whether this virus is the cause or a passenger during oncogenesis. Here we discuss the pathogenesis behind CMV infection, its potential as an onco- or oncomodulatory-virus and possible modes of medical interventions.