Human papilloma virus, which may reach the esophagus through orogenital transmission, has been postulated to be associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dr Andrew Kunzmann and colleagues performed a systematic review of the literature investigating the prevalence of infectious agents in esophageal adenocarcinoma carried out.
Using terms for viruses and esophageal adenocarcinoma, the Medline, Embase, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched for studies published, in any language, until 2016 that assessed the prevalence of viral agents in esophageal adenocarcinoma or Barrett's esophagus.
A total of 30 studies were included.
|The prevalence of Epstein–Barr virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma was 6%|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The research team found that the pooled prevalence of human papilloma virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma tumor samples was 13%, and 26% in Barrett's esophagus samples.
The team found that human papilloma virus prevalence was higher in esophageal adenocarcinoma tissue than in esophageal tissue from healthy controls.
The prevalence of Epstein–Barr virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma was 6%.
The researchers observed that few studies have assessed other infectious agents.
For each of the analyses, considerable between-study variation was observed.
However, sensitivity analyses did not show any major sources of heterogeneity.
Dr Kunzmann's team concludes, "The prevalence of human papilloma virus and Epstein–Barr virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma is low compared with other viral-associated cancers, but may have been hampered by small sample sizes and detection methods susceptible to fixation processes."
"Additional research with adequate sample sizes and high-quality detection methods is required."