Prospective study of seroreactivity to JC virus T-antigen and risk of colorectal cancers and adenomas. Academic Article uri icon


  • John Cunningham virus (JCV) is a common polyomavirus classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. JCV may play a role in colorectal carcinogenesis, although we previously reported no association between JCV capsid antibodies and colorectal cancer. No studies have examined the role of seroreactivity to JCV T-antigen (T-Ag) oncoprotein in colorectal cancer. A case-control study nested within a community-based prospective cohort (CLUE II) was conducted. In 1989, 25,080 residents of Washington County, Maryland, were enrolled in CLUE II, completing baseline questionnaires and providing blood samples. At follow-up, 257 incident colorectal cancer cases were identified by linkage to population-based cancer registries through 2006 and matched to controls on age, sex, race, and date of blood draw. One hundred and twenty-three colorectal adenoma cases were identified through self-report during follow-up and matched to controls on age, sex, race, date of blood draw, and colorectal cancer screening. Baseline serum samples were tested for seroreactivity to JCV T-Ag. Associations between JCV T-Ag seroreactivity and colorectal cancer/adenomas were evaluated using conditional logistic regression models. Overall, seroreactivity to JCV T-Ag was not statistically significantly associated with the risk of either colorectal cancer [OR, 1.34; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.89-2.01] or adenoma (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 0.70-2.42), while a borderline association with colorectal cancer was observed among women (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.00-3.31). Our past evaluation of JCV capsid seropositivity, combined with current findings, does not support a notable etiologic role for JCV infection in colorectal cancer.©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

publication date

  • November 2014