Herpes Zoster as a Risk Factor for Malignancy

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0419-0424

Herpes Zoster as a Risk Factor for Malignancy

german translation / full article

Jörg Schelling, Linda Sanftenberg

Keywords: herpes zoster malignoma risk diagnostic epidemiology

Background: Herpes Zoster results from a reactivated varicella infection, which is associated with an impaired immune system that could favor the progression of malignant tumors. Evaluating possible associations of herpes zoster and malignoma and evaluating the benefit of general tumor diagnostic after zoster reactivation were the main objectives of this analysis.

Search methods: A systematic literature search was performed in Pubmed, Medline and Embase for international original articles published from 2007 to 2016. Only cohort studies as well as case-control studies were included in our analysis.

Main messages: Zoster and malignoma were frequently associated in the examined articles. A correlation with haematologic diseases was often found. The direction of correlation remains unclear, as malignoma might be caused by antigen stimulation of zoster reactivation. Simultaneously, immunodeficiency might also be caused by malignoma. Distinct recommendation for or against tumor diagnostic after zoster reactivation was not given by anyone of the authors.

Conclusions: Currently, benefit of extensive tumor diagnostic in zoster patients remains unclear as the investigated collectives lack validity. For more evidence, further research of tumor diagnostic in prospective trials is needed.

(State: 17.10.2016)

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