Viral Oncology

Viral oncology is a subdivision of oncology, in these it is concerned with treatment of human cancers /tumours with virus particles. Viruses have long been used as tools to understand basic mechanisms of cancer development and progression. Many cellular proteins crucial in oncogenesis and tumour suppression were first discovered by studying tumour viruses. Approximately 20% of all cancers worldwide results from chronic infections, in specific, up to 15% of human cancers is characterized by a viral aetiology with higher incidence in Developing Countries. Certainly, the infectious nature of specific tumours has important implications in their prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. In the 21st Century, the research on viral oncology field continues to be dynamic, with new significant and original studies on viral oncogenesis and as a translational research from virology for the treatment of cancer. At present, only seven established human tumour viruses are known which include Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV), Human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1), Human Herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), and Merkel Cell Polyomavirus (MCPyV)., but numerous human cancers are suspected to have an infectious etiology that has not yet been identified. Discovery of each human tumour virus has spawned a new research field that has contributed to our understanding of infectious tumours and cancer biology.

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