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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7349268, 10 pages
Review Article

Epstein-Barr Virus as a Promising Immunotherapeutic Target for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Treatment

1Sunway Institute for Healthcare Development (SIHD), Sunway University, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
2Anatomical Pathology Department, Sunway Medical Centre, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Sin-Yeang Teow

Received 31 August 2017; Accepted 9 December 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Mario M. D’Elios

Copyright © 2017 Sin-Yeang Teow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a pathogen that infects more than 90% of global human population. EBV primarily targets B-lymphocytes and epithelial cells while some of them infect monocyte/macrophage, T-lymphocytes, and dendritic cells (DCs). EBV infection does not cause death by itself but the infection has been persistently associated with certain type of cancers such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), and Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL). Recent findings have shown promise on targeting EBV proteins for cancer therapy by immunotherapeutic approach. Some studies have also shown the success of adopting EBV-based therapeutic vaccines for the prevention of EBV-associated cancer particularly on NPC. In-depth investigations are in progress to refine the current therapeutic and vaccination strategies. In present review, we discuss the highly potential EBV targets for NPC immunotherapy and therapeutic vaccine development as well as addressing the underlying challenges in the process of bringing the therapy and vaccination from the bench to bedside.