Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Could Prevent 200,000 Cancer Cases A Year

Monday marked the 50 years since Dr Anthony Epstein and Dr Yvonne Barr discovered the Epstein-Barr Virus.

The virus, also called EBV, is thought to have infected up to 95% of the World’s population, and has links to the formation of a number of cancers and diseases.

The vast majority of people contract EBV as a child, whilst some may contract it as teenagers which can result in glandular fever, though most recover without any long term effects.

The real threat posed by EBV is it’s links to the formation of cancers such as Hodgkin Lymphoma (the most common EBV associated cancer in the UK), Burkitt Lymphoma (often affecting children in Africa) as well as a number of stomach cancers, and the nasal tumour nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

The question now is, what impact could an EBV vaccine have on the world? Researchers associated with Cancer Research UK estimate that an EBV vaccine could save anywhere between 110,000 and 200,000 patients from developing various forms of EBV associated cancers each year.

Find out more about EBV from Cancer Research UK.

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