The epidemiology of Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) strongly favours the hypothesis of a vector transmitted factor playing a role in the development of the tumour (Burkitt, 1963). The serological association between a new herpes virus, discovered by Epstein et al. (1964), and this disease makes this virus an obvious canditate for etiology, although the ubiquitous presence of such an agent in all populations all around the world prevents from considering this virus as the only possible cause of the tumour. Two questions can be put forward:
  1. 1.

    Is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oncogenic? As discussed elsewhere (de-Thé et al., 1972b) the EBV appears to have oncogenic potential in vitro when uninfected lymphocytes are used as target cells.

  2. 2.

    Is the EBV a necessary factor for the development of BL? To answer that critical question, we are implementing a large prospective sero-epidemiological study in Uganda, East Africa. Our aim is to distinguish between three hypotheses regarding the relationship between EBV and BL.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy de-Thé
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Carcinogenesis UnitInternational Agency for Research on CancerLyonFrance

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