Nevin Manimala Statistics

Prevalence of viral DNA in high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer and correlation with clinical outcomes

PLoS One. 2023 Dec 1;18(12):e0294448. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0294448. eCollection 2023.


INTRODUCTION: Currently 11 infectious agents are classified as carcinogenic but the role of infectious agents on outcomes of epithelial ovarian cancer is largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between infectious agents and ovarian cancer, we investigated the prevalence of viral DNA in primary ovarian cancer tumors and its association with clinical outcomes.

METHODS: Archived tumors from 98 patients diagnosed with high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer were collected between 1/1/1994 and 12/31/2010. After DNA extraction, Luminex technology was utilized to identify polymerase chain reaction-amplified viral DNA for 113 specific viruses. Demographic data and disease characteristics were summarized using descriptive statistics. We used logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards model to assess associations between tumor viral status and disease outcome and between tumor viral presence and overall survival (OS), respectively.

RESULTS: Forty-six cases (45.9%) contained at least one virus. Six highly prevalent viruses were associated with clinical outcomes and considered viruses of interest (VOI; Epstein-Barr virus 1, Merkel cell polyomavirus, human herpes virus 6b, and human papillomaviruses 4, 16, and 23). Factors independently associated with OS were presence of VOI (HR 4.11, P = 0.0001) and platinum sensitivity (HR 0.21, P<0.0001). Median OS was significantly decreased when tumors showed VOI versus not having these viruses (22 vs 44 months, P<0.0001). Women <70 year old with VOI in tumors had significantly lower median OS versus age-matched women without VOI (20 vs 57 months, P = 0.0006); however, among women ≥70 years old, there was no difference in OS by tumor virus status.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of a VOI was significantly associated with a lower OS. These findings may have implications for clinical management of ovarian cancer but require additional studies.

PMID:38039311 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0294448

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