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 and Barrett’s esophagus.
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.
The research team evaluated a total of 30 studies.
|The prevalence of Epstein–Barr virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma was 6%|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team found that the pooled prevalence of Human papilloma virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma tumor samples was 13%, and 26% in Barrett’s esophagus samples.
HPV prevalence was higher in esophageal adenocarcinoma tissue than in esophageal tissue from healthy controls.
The researchers noted that the prevalence of Epstein–Barr virus in esophageal adenocarcinoma was 6%.
Few studies have assessed other infectious agents.
For each of the analyses, the team observed considerable between-study variation.
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."