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February 24, 1984

Studies show possible oncogenic routes for HBV

JAMA. 1984;251(8):1007-1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340320007003

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In a carefully timed series of reports, a team of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine (UCSF), has suggested a mechanism for dissemination of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) within the body, noting as well the implications for the role of HBV in causing cancer.

Hubert E. Blum, MD, and co-workers of the Hepatitis Research Unit, Department of Laboratory Medicine, UCSF Liver Center, used the technique of in situ hybridization to analyze the liver tissue of three patients with chronic hepatitis B. This highly sensitive technique—in which radiolabeled, cloned DNA "probes" are allowed to hybridize with complementary viral DNA already present in the cell—allows the investigator to determine both the location and number of copies of viral DNA per cell.

They first presented their work in the Oct 15, 1983 issue of Lancet, then in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of November 1983,