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Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Epstein-Barr virus as a paradigm in nasopharyngeal cancer: from lab to clinic.

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) of the undifferentiated subtype remains endemic in southern China, with a peak incidence in this region approaching 30 cases per 100,000 population per year. Despite advances in chemotherapy and radiation delivery techniques in localized disease, distant metastasis is still common and NPC remains the seventh leading cause of cancer death in the region. There is great need for early diagnosis, developing novel therapies, and identifying patients with localized disease at higher risk of future recurrence or metastasis to appropriately tailor their treatment and improve outcomes. Knowledge of the integral involvement of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of undifferentiated NPC has been of seminal importance in developing strategies to optimize disease management. The close association with EBV is being evaluated in multiple settings including screening of at-risk populations, disease prognostication, development of targeted therapies, optimizing adjuvant treatment, and early recurrence detection. These translational studies are likely to have an enormous effect on management of undifferentiated NPC and significantly improve the landscape of the disease in years to come.

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