• inflammatory breast cancer;
  • human mammary tumor virus;
  • mouse mammary tumor virus;
  • viral oncogenesis;
  • breast cancer


The authors have found that retroviral sequences with 85% to 95% homology to the mouse mammary tumor virus were present in 40% of the sporadic breast cancers of American women. These sequences were not found in normal breasts or other tumors. A whole proviral structure was detected in 2 tumors. Breast cancer cells in culture were shown to contain and shed betaretroviral particles. This virus was designated human mammary tumor virus (HMTV). The authors have investigated the presence of HMTV sequences in a variety of breast conditions and geographic locations. Here they report that inflammatory breast cancer from American women shows a higher incidence of viral sequences (71%) than sporadic breast cancers. Similar incidence has been found in inflammatory breast cancers from Tunisia, and in gestational breast cancers. Because these conditions represent highly invasive malignancies, it is concluded that HMTV is sometimes associated with a particularly malignant phenotype. Cancer 2010;116(11 suppl):2741–4. © 2010 American Cancer Society.