Profiles of Epstein-Barr Virus Associated Gastric Carcinomas in Brunei Darussalam

  • Yen, Rachel Lai Siaw (PAPRSB IHS Universiti Brunei Darussalam) ;
  • Telisinghe, Pemasari Upali (Department of Pathology, RIPAS Hospital) ;
  • Cunningham, Anne (PAPRSB IHS Universiti Brunei Darussalam) ;
  • Abdullah, Muhd Syafiq (Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, RIPAS Hospital) ;
  • Chong, Chee Fui (Department of Surgery, RIPAS Hospital) ;
  • Chong, Vui Heng (Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, RIPAS Hospital)
  • Published : 2015.01.06


Background: Gastric cancer is the second most common gastrointestinal cancer and is largely attributed to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. In addition, studies have also shown association with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in 10% of gastric cancers. This study assessed the characteristics of EBV associated gastric cancers (EBVaGC) in Brunei Darussalam. Materials and Methods: This study included gastric cancers diagnosed between 2008 and 2012, registered with the Department of Pathology RIPAS Hospital, Brunei Darussalam. Clinical case notes were systematically reviewed. Histology specimens were all stained for EBV and also assessed for intestinal metaplasia and H. pylori. Results: There were a total of 81 patients (54 male and 27 females) with a mean age of $65.8{\pm}14.8years$ included in the study. Intestinal metaplasia and active H. pylori infection were detected in 40.7% and 30.9% respectively. A majority of the tumors were proximally located (55.6%), most poorly differentiated (well differentiated 16%, moderately differentiated 30.9% and poorly differentiated 53.1%) and the stages at diagnosis were; stage I (44.4%), stage II (23.5%), stage III (8.6%) and stage IV (23.5%). EBV positivity (EBVaGC) was seen in 30.9%. Between EBVaGC and EBV negative gastric cancers, there were no significant differences (age, gender, ethnic group, presence of Intestinal metaplasia, tumor locations, stages of disease and degree of tumor differentiation). Conclusions: This study showed that a third of gastric cancers in Brunei Darussalam were positive for EBV, higher than what have been reported in the literature. However, there were no significant differences between EBVaGC and EBV negative gastric cancers. This suggests that the role of EBV in gastric cancer may be mostly incidental rather than any causal relation. However, further studies are required.


Epstein-Barr virus;gastric carcinoma;Helicobacter pylori;prevalence;brunei


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