Germ cell tumours (GCT) of the testis are the most common malignant tumours occurring in young adults. In view of the young age of patients, the increasing incidence of GCT and the overexpression of wild-type p53 observed in a majority of tumours, the possibility of the involvement of a virus in the development of this cancer was considered. Testicular GCT were analysed for the presence of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which are known to cause overexpression of wild-type p53 protein, and parvovirus B19. The testicular tissue of 39 patients with testicular GCT and 12 patients with healthy testicular tissues was tested for presence of viral DNA by PCR. Neither cytomegalovirus nor EBV DNAs were detected in the 39 tumours analysed, but parvovirus B19 DNA sequences were demonstrated in the testicular tissue of 85% (33/39 cases) of patients with GCT. The sera of 16 of the 39 patients with GCT were tested for the presence of parvovirus B19 IgM and IgG. B19-specific IgG was detected in the sera of 11 patients (69%). Only one case was positive for parvovirus B19 IgM, which was also shown to have B19 genome sequences in the serum by PCR, indicating that in a majority of cases an acute B19 infection can be excluded as being the source of the B19 DNA sequences in the testis. B19 DNA could not be detected in normal testicular tissue and thus parvovirus B19 could play a role, direct or indirect, in the development of testicular GCT or have tropism for the tumour cells.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error