Hôpitaux universitaires de Strasbourg,
laboratoire de virologie, 3, rue Koeberlé, 67000 Strasbourg, France, Inserm, U748, 67000 Strasbourg, France, Université de Strasbourg,
67000 Strasbourg, France, CHU de Besançon,
laboratoire de virologie,
25030 Besançon, France, Université de Franche-Comté,
EA 4266 Agents pathogènes et inflammation, 25030 Besançon, France, SFR FED 4234,
25030 Besançon, France
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been increasingly involved in carcinogenesis over the last decade. HCMV is present on the tumor site in a large proportion of several cancers and enhances both inflammation and immune escape. By acting on the tumor cells and/or the tumor microenvironment, HCMV may behave like an “oncomodulator” to influence cell cycle progression, survival, apoptosis, angiogenesis, cellular metabolism and tumor invasivity. Beside this suspected role in tumor promotion, several data continue to argue for a direct role of HCMV in tumor initiation. Whether HCMV is initiator or promoter, its potential involvement in carcinogenesis may provide new therapeutic targets in cancer treatment and offers a new perspective on the complex relationship between viruses and cancers.