Cytomegalovirus and Tumors: Two Players for One Goal-Immune Escape

Quentin Lepiller1, Kashif Aziz Khan1, §, Vincent Di Martino2, Georges Herbein*, 1
1 Department of Virology, University of Franche-Comte, UPRES EA 4266, IFR 133, CHU Besancon, F-25030 Besanon, France
2 Department of Hepatology, University of Franche-Comte, UPRES EA 4266, IFR 133, CHU Besancon, F-25030 Besançon, France

© Lepiller et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Virology, University of Franche-Comte, 2 place Saint-Jacques, F-25030 Besançon Cedex, France; Tel + 33 3 81 21 88 77; Fax + 33 3 81 66 56 95; E-mail:
§ Present Address: Université de Montréal, Québec


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and the human tumor cell share the same objectives: escape the recognition and destruction by the immune system and establish a state of immune tolerance conducive for their development. For early tumor development, the escape of the first lines of defense of the immune surveillance is a critical step which determines survival or destruction. The presence of CMV on the tumor site and its involvement in carcinogenesis as initiator or promoter is increasingly documented. In this article, we highlight the similarity between mechanisms used by tumors and CMV to circumvent the immune defenses and evade from immune surveillance. We suggest that CMV and tumors help one another for their common objective. CMV gets shelter in immunologically poor environment of the tumor cells. In return CMV, by acting directly on the cancer cell and/or on the tumor microenvironment, provides the tumor cell the ways to promote its immune escape and development of immune tolerance.

Keywords: HCMV, tumor, immune escape..