The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), isolated in 1966, continues to draw worldwide attention as an important human pathogen. Its impor tance is largely related to the continuing accumulation of evidence that implicates EBV as an etiological factor for certain types of human cancer. More recent investigations on this virus have focused on the identity of the viral genes responsible for the different disease mani festations observed following viral infection. It is hoped that by thorough investigation of this virus, clues to how cancer develops from a normal cell will surface. In addition, many of the gene products are now being exploited for the development of new and more sensitive tests for the diagnosis and clinical management of individu als with EBV -associated diseases. Thus, studies on this virus continue to provide new information of importance to our understanding of the malignant process. In an effort to attract both basic and clinical scientists to the same meeting for purposes of scientific exchange and fostering a closer interaction between these individuals, a series of international symposia was initiated in 1984. The first meeting was held in Loutraki, Greece, and was attended by approximately 100 participants. The second international symposium was held in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1986, and was attended by approximately twice as many partici pants as attended the Loutraki meeting.
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