Epstein-Barr virus and nasopharyngeal carcinoma: is there an etiologic relationship?

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1977 Nov;59(5):1393-5. doi: 10.1093/jnci/59.5.1393.


Antibody titers to all the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related antigens were significant elevated (P less than 0.001) in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) compared with those of controls. EBV, early antigen, and anti-diffuse titers of Chinese-American and black patients with NPC were higher than those of white patients with NPC. Epstein-Barr viral capsid antigen antibody titers were elevated in white patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx, regardless of subsite. These results raise doubts about the specificity of the association between EBV and NPC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Viral