Definitions for oncovirusˈɒŋ kəˌvaɪ rəs; ɒŋˈkɔr nə-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word oncovirus

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

on•co•vi•rusˈɒŋ kəˌvaɪ rəs; ɒŋˈkɔr nə-(n.)(pl.)-rus•es.

or on•cor•na•vi•rus

  1. any retrovirus of the subfamily Oncovirinae, capable of producing tumors.

    Category: Microbiology

Origin of oncovirus:

1965–70; onco- (+RNA ) +virus


  1. Oncovirus

    An oncovirus is a virus that can cause cancer. This term originated from studies of acutely transforming retroviruses in the 1950–60s, often called oncornaviruses to denote their RNA virus origin. It now refers to any virus with a DNA or RNA genome causing cancer and is synonymous with "tumor virus" or "cancer virus". The vast majority of human and animal viruses do not cause cancer, probably because of long-standing coevolution between the virus and its host. Worldwide, the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated that in 2002 17.8% of human cancers were caused by infection, with 11.9% being caused by one of seven different viruses. The importance of this is that these cancers might be easily prevented through vaccination, diagnosed with simple blood tests, and treated with less-toxic antiviral compounds.


Find a translation for the oncovirus definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these oncovirus definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"oncovirus." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for oncovirus?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for oncovirus: