Lymphoepithelioma-like Carcinoma of the Lung: Analysis of Two Cases for Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

Hum Pathol. 1995 Nov;26(11):1278-82. doi: 10.1016/0046-8177(95)90206-6.


Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, which is an uncommon histological type of epithelial tumor, has been described as being closely associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in organs other than the lung. Recently, we experienced two surgically resected cases of pulmonary tumors mimicking lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma. Both cases contained EBV DNA genomes as shown by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using EBV DNA-specific primers, one positive for EBV DNA in virtually all cancer cells, and the other showing positive hybridization in a small number of cancer cells by in situ hybridization (ISH) using digoxigenin-labeled olignucletide probes for each of EBV DNA for EBV DNA. EBV-encoded RNA-1 (EBER-1) was typically detected in one case. These results are highly suggestive of EBV-associated tumors in one of the current cases, although in the other case, no such close association was determined. It seems that lymphoepithelioma-like pulmonary carcinoma, which seems extremely unusual, may be closely associated with EBV infection in tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / complications*
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / genetics
  • Herpesviridae Infections / pathology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral