Clinicopathological characteristics of Epstein-Barr virus-positive gastric cancer in Latvia

Evita Gasenko, Sergejs Isajevs, Maria Constanza Camargo, George Johan A. Offerhaus, Inese Polaka, Margaret L. Gulley, Roberts Skapars, Armands Sivins, Ilona Kojalo, Arnis Kirsners, Daiga Santare, Jelizaveta Pavlova, Olga Sjomina, Elina Liepina, Liliana Tzivian, Charles S. Rabkin, Marcis Leja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric cancer has been proposed to be a distinct gastric cancer molecular subtype. The prognostic significance of EBV infection in gastric cancer remains unclear and needs further investigation. Our study aimed to analyze EBV-positive and EBV-negative gastric cancer patients regarding their personal and tumor-related characteristics, and compare their overall survival. Methods Gastric cancer patients consecutively treated at the Riga East University Hospital during 2009-2016 were identified retrospectively. Tumor EBV status was determined by in-situ hybridization for EBV-encoded RNA (EBER). Information about clinicopathological characteristics was obtained from patient questionnaires, hospital records. Overall survival was ascertained through 30 July 2017. Cox proportional hazard regression models adjusted for personal and tumor-related covariates compared survival between EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients. Results There were a total of 302 gastric cancer patients (61% males) with mean and SD age 63.6 ± 11.5 years. EBER positivity was present in 8.6% of tumors. EBV-positive gastric cancer patients had better survival at 80 months [adjusted hazard ratio = 0.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.19-0.72] compared to EBV-negative patients. Worse survival was observed for patients with stage III (hazard ratio = 2.76, 95% CI = 1.67-4.56) and stage IV (hazard ratio = 10.02, 95% CI = 5.72-17.57) compared to stage I gastric cancer, and overlapping and unspecified subsite (hazard ratio = 1.85; 95% CI = 1.14; 3.00) compared to distal tumors. Conclusion Tumor EBV positivity is a favorable prognostic factor in gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1328-1333
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus-encoded small RNA in-situ hybridization
  • gastric cancer
  • survival

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinicopathological characteristics of Epstein-Barr virus-positive gastric cancer in Latvia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this