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Ayadi W.,Laboratoire Of Microbiologie | Khabir A.,Laboratoire danatomopathologie | Fki L.,Laboratoire Of Microbiologie | Toumi N.,Service dOncologie | And 12 more authors.
Bulletin du Cancer | Year: 2010

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an unusual head and neck cancer because of its unequal geographical distribution and its consistent association with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This malignant tumor poses a serious public health problem in many countries, especially in Southeast Asia and North Africa where the recorded incidence are highest. During the past decade, a growing number of studies were undertaken to define the molecular basis of NPC. However, the analysis of several clinical and biological parameters of North African and Southeast Asian NPCs has shown notable differences, suggesting that they could result from a distinct combination of etiological factors. One intriguing characteristic of North African NPC, concerns its bimodal age distribution with a secondary peak of incidence in the range of 15-25 years, not observed in Asian NPC. In this juvenile formof NPC, immunohistochemistry assay has shown that the two key proteins controlling the apoptotic-survival balance p53 and Bcl-2 are less frequently expressed whereas the transmembrane tyrosine-kinase receptor c-kit and the main EBV oncoprotein LMP1 were more abundant. In addition, the EBV serological alterations are less informative for the diagnosis of the juvenile compared to the adult form. In addition, most North African NPCs contain EBV strains with genetic polymorphisms distinct from those described in the Southeast Asia series (predominance of F, D, H1-H2, XhoI+ and f, C, H, XhoI- respectively). In contrast, studies relating on tumor chromosomal alterations or aberrant promoter methylation result in data very similar to those obtained from the Southeast Asia series, supporting the concept of a common molecular basis for all NPC regardless of patient geographic origin.▲ ©John Libbey Eurotext. Source

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