Researchers in a study observed that human cytomegalovirus could be involved in the development of colon cancer. Although some people have a genetic predisposition to colon cancer, the majority of cases arise for no obvious reason. Researchers at the University of Alabama US, have now exposed a link between viral infection and colon cancer.
First, they report on laboratory studies that show how human cytomegalovirus (CMV) can disrupt normal cellular processes, leading to malignant growth, especially in the context of colon cancer. Then the researchers went on to test colon tumour samples for CMV. They looked at colorectal polyp tissue, adenocarcinoma (a type of colon cancer) and adjacent cells. They found that CMV was present in around 80 per cent of polyp and cancer samples.