Abstract Title:

Prevalence and characteristics of the MMTV-like associated breast carcinomas in Tunisia.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Lett. 2008 Nov 28 ;271(2):222-30. Epub 2008 Jul 18. PMID: 18639977

Abstract Author(s):

M Hachana, M Trimeche, S Ziadi, K Amara, N Gaddas, M Mokni, S Korbi

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pathology, Farhat Hached Hospital, Sousse 4000, Tunisia.


The involvement of a retrovirus homologous to the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) in the pathogenesis of human breast cancer (BC) has long been assumed, but has never been proven. Previous studies have reported the detection of MMTV-like env sequences in variable proportions that did not exceed 40% of BC cases in several countries. However, these viral sequences have been found in higher proportion (74%) in Tunisian diagnosed with BC during the seventies. This study is an attempt to evaluate the current prevalence of MMTV-like env gene in BC in Tunisian women. We used semi-nested PCR that amplify a 190-bp MMTV-like env sequence, followed by direct sequencing to screen a series of 122 cases of BC randomly selected. The findings were correlated to clinicopathological data and immunohistochemical expression status of progesterone and oestrogen receptors, HER2, and P53. Specific MMTV-like env sequences were found in 17 (13.9%) cases of breast carcinomas, whereas the same sequences were not detected in matched normal breast tissues. The presence of the viral sequences correlates inversely with progesterone receptor expression (6.8% versus 20.3%; P=0.03) and HER2 overexpression (3.1% versus 17.7%; P=0.04). This present study confirms the presence of MMTV-like env sequences in BC in Tunisian women but describes an important decrease in the prevalence of the viral sequences compared with previous studies. This reduction may be due to some changes in the virological characteristics or exposure to the virus.

Study Type : Human Study

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