Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a nonlymphomatous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that occurs in the epithelial lining of the nasopharynx. Viral, geographic, and ethnic factors are responsible for its multifactorial futures. Previous studies have showed the role of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of NPC but no study has been conducted on the Iranian population to assess the etiology of NPC and to investigate the role of EBV in carcinogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Methods: We collected 87 paraffin wax embedded blocks of NPC (n=34) and Laryngeal SCC patients (n=53) operated in Isfahan Hospitals during 2003-2007 from the archives of the department of pathology and then sera of patients were provided. We measured the titers of early antigen (anti-EA) and Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (anti-EBNA) antibodies by means of ELISA method in sera of patients.
Results: Our data showed a significant association between elevated titer of these antibodies and the presence of NPC (P value =0.016 for anti-EBNA and 0.001 for anti-EA antibodies); however, we did not find such a relationship about Laryngeal SCC.
Conclusion: The prevalence of EBV infection in patient with NPC is significantly higher than the control group. Further studies should investigate the value of serum markers of EBV infection in the follow up or early diagnosis of NPC in high risk patients.
squamous cell carcinoma
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