Int J Cancer 2017 Nov 24;141(9):1849-1855. Epub 2017 Jul 24.
Chief, Division of Hematology, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children's National Medical Center, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC.
A geographical and causal connection has long been recognized between malaria, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), but the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Potential clues are that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum selectively absorbs vitamin A from the host and depends on it for its biological activities; secondly, alterations in vitamin A (retinoid) metabolism have been implicated in many forms of cancer, including BL. The first author has proposed that the merozoite-stage malaria parasite, emerging from the liver, uses its absorbed vitamin A as a cell membrane destabilizer to invade the red blood cells, causing anemia and other signs and symptoms of the disease as manifestations of an endogenous form of hypervitaminosis A (Mawson AR, Path Global Health 2013;107(3):122-9). Read More