Epstein-Barr and Lymphoma

Epstein Barr Virus, EBV in short, is a common virus that affects more than 90% of the human population; however, its presence is not significant in all the EBV seropositive persons. Many individuals find this infection in kids as a throat infection while in people of adolescent and young age group it is considered to be the kissing infection. EBV in children is asymptomatic, and it causes little damage. However, there is a risk factor involved with EBV as it causes the growth activation in the genes of B-cells which can be cancerous for certain people.

What are Lymphomas?

Lymphomas are the major cancers caused by EBV. Of the two types, a Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s type of lymphomas, EBV is associated with both in various sub-types. A few cancers of Nasopharynx are also associated with EBV. Lymphoma that develops after organ transplants is often associated with EBV. Immune response to theforeign body has to be administered to everyone after any organ transplant.Image result for Epstein-Barr and Lymphoma

Burkitt Lymphoma is the common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children which affects the people of adolescent age group around the world. The genetic changes caused by EBV are the reason that triggers B cells into cancer. Another reason for triggering cancer is repeated malarial infection. Another form of Lymphoma caused by EBV is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Compared with HL in young adults, HL in young boys under the age of 10 is associated with EBV.

There are also other EBV-related lymphomas,

  • AIDS-related lymphoma
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma associated with EBV
  • B-Cell lymphoma associated with leukemia and congenital immunodeficiency
  • Cutaneous lymphoma associated with EBV
  • T-/NK- cell lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Why Person gets affected by Epstein-Barr Lymphoma?

Almost most of the adults are carrying EBV, but the major health issues are faced by the persons having low immunity systems. Children display fewer symptoms but due to infectious mononucleosis the teens and young adults are more often fallen sick. The infection is mostly spread through the saliva, so the people get it by sharing toothbrushes, kisses and drinking utensils. After illness the viral genome is carried by the B-lymphocytes in a latent state and a person with thehealthy immune system can suppress the infectious virus state.

On the other hand, EBV is also causing malignant tumors and mostly linked to the Burkitt’slymphoma, and immunocompromised individuals are caught up easily. Apoptosis (cell suicide) signals of B-lymphocytes cells are highly immortalized by the EBV which leads to the transformation of B-lymphocyte cells into lymphoblastoid cells and proliferation of these cells leading to malignancies. People with theweak immune system cannot recognize the transformed cells and are unable to destroy them and thus causing lymphoma.

Moreover,individuals who have suffered from aglandular fever caused by Epstein – Barr virus are more disposed of getting Hodgkin Lymphoma. To know more about the mechanism of EBV causing Hodgkin Lymphoma visit the link http://uvlrx.com/.


Pharmacological Approach

Ganciclovir and acyclovir are the antiviral agents that are administered with the demethylating agents for inducing the lytic cycle genes. This medication helps in inhibiting DNA polymerase of EBV for the inhibition of lymphoproliferative disease.

Cellular Therapy

For targeting EBV antigens, immunotherapy approaches are considered for treating latency EBV lymphomas.


Lower dose chemotherapy is found effective in the treatment of children as it reduces the chemotherapy toxicity. The patients who are unresponsive to immune manipulation are treated with lymphoma therapy regimens using CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone).

Surgery and Radiation Therapy

Surgery is used to remove the lymphoma locally when the other pharmacological treatments are failed. Similarly, radiotherapy can also effectively control the local disease, and the patients are often seen giving responses to these treatments.

Ellen Cone