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Background: Reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) is more common in patients with malignancies; however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this susceptibility are unclear. Methods:Using ex vivo interferon-γ ELISpot assays, we set out to analyse VZV-specific immune responses in a large cohort of patients with malignancies.results: We observed that patients with malignancies had impaired VZV-specific T-cell responses, particularly in those with haematological malignancies and breast carcinoma. Immediate-early protein 63 (IE63)-specific T-cell responses were significantly impaired in those with subclinical VZV re-activation. Conclusions Our results suggest that T-cell responses to IE63 are important in controlling VZV replication. © 2010 Cancer Research UK All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Cancer

Publication Date





727 - 730