Epstein-Barr virus DNA quantification and follow-up in Tunisian nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients

Biomarkers. 2011 May;16(3):274-80. doi: 10.3109/1354750X.2010.551409.


The prognostic value of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA load in sera of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients measured before any treatment, after treatment and before relapse was assessed. The real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the viral load levels among 74 NPC subjects. Patients were followed up for a period going from 1 to 6 years (median 4 years). Before treatment, the EBV DNA load was correlated with lymph node involvement and advanced stages. After treatment, the viral load level declined significantly and patients presenting a viral load level lower than 1000 copies/ml showed a better overall survival (OS). Moreover, a significant result was found when the 6-year OS rates of patients having fewer or more than 15,000 copies/ml of viral load before relapse were compared. These results suggest that the EBV DNA load quantification after treatment may be a useful predictor of disease progression and survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / blood
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / virology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / virology*
  • Prognosis
  • Tunisia
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Viral