Medullary carcinoma of the breast is an epithelial malignant proliferation that shares many characteristics (macroscopic, microscopic, epidemiologic, and prognostic) with lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas of various sites. The authors hypothesized that they could also share the same etiologic agent, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Epstein-Barr virus, a virus of the herpesvirus family, is to be associated with lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas of the nasopharynx, stomach, lung, thymus, and salivary gland. Therefore, the authors looked for the virus in a series of 10 medullary carcinomas of the breast. Using immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction, this investigation failed to show evidence of EBV. Similar negative results have been reported in lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas arising in the skin and in the uterine cervix, which like the breast do not originate in the foregut. These results suggest that the pathogenesis of these tumors is not unique, implicating probably different etiopathogenic entities.