Significant association between human osteosarcoma and simian virus 40

Cancer. 2015 Mar 1;121(5):708-15. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29137. Epub 2014 Nov 6.


Background: Simian virus 40 (SV40) has been considered to be an oncogenic viral agent in the development of osteosarcoma (OS), which to the authors' knowledge continues to be of unknown etiology.

Methods: In the current study, serum samples from patients with OS were investigated with an indirect enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) to test for the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies, which react with SV40 antigens. In ELISA, SV40 antigens were represented by 2 synthetic polypeptides that mimic epitopes of the viral capsid proteins 1 to 3. Additional sera from patients with breast cancer and undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma as well as healthy subjects were the controls.

Results: Immunologic results suggested that antibodies that react with SV40 mimotopes were more prevalent (44%) in serum samples from patients with OS compared with healthy subjects (17%). The difference in prevalence between these cohorts was statistically significant (P<.001). It is interesting to note that in the patients with OS, significance indicated the difference between OS versus breast cancer (44% vs 15%; P<.001) and OS versus undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (44% vs 25%; P<.05).

Conclusions: The data from the current study indicate an association between OS and SV40. These data could be transferred to clinical applications for innovative therapies to address SV40-positive OS.

Keywords: antibody; osteosarcoma; simian virus 40 (SV40); viral agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Bone Neoplasms / blood*
  • Bone Neoplasms / immunology
  • Bone Neoplasms / virology
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology
  • Carcinoma
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / blood
  • Osteosarcoma / blood*
  • Osteosarcoma / immunology
  • Osteosarcoma / virology
  • Simian virus 40 / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G