A herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), has long been thought to contribute to the development of Hodgkin's disease. But no one has carefully studied the possible link between EBV and Hodgkin's survival, according to researchers led by Dr. Christina A. Clarke from Northern California Cancer Center in Union City.
This virus is believed to increase the risk for the Hodgkin's disease and may also make the cancer more deadly in middle-aged and older women, the researchers say. This disease causes cancer of the lymphatic system.
When more than 300 patients, with and without EBV were studied for the development and prognosis of Hodgkin's disease, it was found that the death rate was nearly 2 to 3 times more in those with the virus when compared to those without the virus.
The scientists are now concentrating on unraveling how the disease works at the molecular level to ensure better treatment of those suffering from the dreaded disease.