XMRV Retrovirus Whittemore Peterson CFS study Media Round up 12
October 21, 2009
XMRV Retrovirus Whittemore Peterson CFS study Media Round up: 12
WordPress Shortlink: http://wp.me/p5foE-2c2
Good Morning America [ABC] -XMRV
Click here for interview with Dr. Donnica Moore about the link between the XMRV and ME/CFS
New York Times
October 21, 2009
A Case of Chronic Denial
By HILLARY JOHNSON
EARLIER this month, a study published in the journal Science answered a question that medical scientists had been asking since 2006, when they learned of a novel virus found in prostate tumors called xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV: Was it a human infection?
XMRV is a gammaretrovirus, one of a family of viruses long-studied in animals but not known to infect people. In animals, these retroviruses can cause horrendous neurological problems, immune deficiency, lymphoma and leukemia. The new study provided overwhelming evidence that XMRV is a human gammaretrovirus – the third human retrovirus (after H.I.V. and human lymphotropic viruses, which cause leukemia and lymphoma). Infection is permanent and, yes, it can spread from person to person (though it is not yet known how the virus is transmitted).
That would have been news enough, but there was more…
Read full commentary by Hillary Johnson, author of Osler’s Web here
While you’re on the NYT site, email Hillary’s commentary to family, friends and contacts!
From Martin L. (Marty) Pall, via Co-Cure
21 October 2009
Mikovits and her colleagues published a paper and accessory materials in the journal Science, a highly respected journal and have also provided additional and in some cases more recent information elsewhere. In the Science publication they report that the XMRV retrovirus occurs in about 2/3rds of CFS/ME patients but only in 3.7% of normal controls. They also report that subsequently, using a more sensitive assay, XMRV occurs in over 90% of CFS/ME patients – we don’t know what the percentage is for normal controls using that more sensitive assay.
The virus was originally isolated from some aggressive prostate cancer cells. In addition, in unpublished data, it is also apparently shows high prevalence in fibromyagia patients and in atypical multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Comment: These data apparently show that XMRV is not specific for CFS/ME but rather occurs in other disease states, as well as in some normals. My own view is that this makes it much more likely to be an opportunistic disease, caused by the changes in immune function and other properties of these diseases, rather than a primary cause. Specifically, the retrovirus, based on its DNA sequence, has its replication stimulated by NF-kappaB activity, an activity that is elevated as part of the NO/ONOO- cycle and has been reported to be elevated in CFS/ME. Furthermore, the low NK cell activity and other types of immune dysfunction, that occurs in these various diseases, may also be expected to stimulate the ability of the virus to maintain itself in disease sufferers.
In order to show that it is the primary cause of CFS/ME, it is necessary to show that XMRV follows Koch’s postulates, but so far it does not apparently follow Koch’s first postulate, which requires that it always occurs in people with the disease but does not occur in normals. The other three Koch’s postulates have not been tested.
In contrast to that, we have a good fit to the five principles underlying the NO/ONOO- cycle for both CFS/ME and fibromyalgia. Because one can argue that the fit to these five principles serve very much like Koch’s postulates for NO/ONOO- cycle disease, I will argue that we have a substantially more compelling case for a NO/ONOO- cycle etiology than we do for an XMRV infectious etiology for either CFS/ME or fibromyalgia.
That does not mean that XMRV is unimportant, however. Even if it turns out to be an opportunistic infection, like mycoplasma and HHV-6 are, it still may contribute to the etiology of the disease. And it still raises the question of whether we can cure cases of CFS/ME and fibromyalgia simply by normalizing the NO/ONOO- cycle as opposed to normalizing it and also using antivirals to depress XMRV and/or HHV-6. This is a question and I don’t claim to have the answer to it, although my hope is that normalizing the cycle will also cure at least some of these infections, that may not be true.
There have been comments in the media to the effect that this finally shows that CFS/ME is physiological, not psychological. This is true, but this should have been obviously true anyway, at least six or seven years ago. Nevertheless the media coverage of CFS/ME obtained by Mikovits and her colleagues must be viewed as a true gift to those interested in extending public knowledge of this disease.
Martin L. (Marty) Pall
Dr. Martin Pall’s NO/ONOO- Theory/Treatment Discussion Group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/TenthParadigmSociety
The Tenth Paradigm – Dr. Martin Pall’s Website for CFS/MCS/FM/ETC: http://www.thetenthparadigm.org
October 19, 2009
Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Scientists have detected the DNA of a retrovirus in the blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The discovery raises the possibility that the virus may be a contributing factor in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Transmission electron micrograph of round virus particles.
XMRV virus particles seen by transmission electron microscopy. Image courtesy of University of Utah Health Sciences Public Affairs.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people in the United States. It’s characterized by profound fatigue that doesn’t improve with bed rest and can be exacerbated or re-kindled by physical or mental activity. A number of other symptoms are also associated with CFS, including cognitive deficits, impaired sleep, myalgia, arthralgia, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms and tender lymph nodes.
No specific cause for CFS has yet been identified. However, patients with CFS are known to have some abnormalities in their immune system. Recently, scientists found evidence of a virus called xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV, in the tumors of patients with prostate cancer. Some patients with XMRV-positive prostate cancer were reported to have a specific immune system defect that was also seen in CFS patients. Suspecting a link between the virus and CFS, a team of scientists from the Whittemore Peterson Institute at the University of Nevada, NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Cleveland Clinic set out to look for the virus in blood samples.
The scientists identified DNA from XMRV in the blood cells of 68 of 101 (67%) CFS patients, as reported in the online edition of Science on October 8, 2009. In contrast, the blood of only 8 out of 218 healthy people (3.7%) contained XMRV. Blood cells not only contained XMRV DNA, but also expressed XMRV proteins and produced infectious viral particles.
The researchers also found that XMRV stimulates immune responses in people with CFS. Plasma from 9 out of 18 CFS patients infected with XMRV reacted with a viral protein, whereas none of the plasma from 7 healthy donors showed a reaction.
“These compelling data allow the development of a hypothesis concerning a cause of this complex and misunderstood disease, since retroviruses are a known cause of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer in man,” says Dr. Francis Ruscetti of NCI, who worked on the project.
Retroviruses like XMRV have also been shown to activate a number of other latent viruses. This could explain why so many different viruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus, have been associated with CFS.
The researchers cautioned, however, that while this study found an association between XMRV and CFS, further work will be needed to determine whether XMRV truly contributes to the development of CFS.
“The discovery of XMRV in 2 major diseases, prostate cancer and now chronic fatigue syndrome, is very exciting,” says Dr. Robert H. Silverman, a co-author at the Cleveland Clinic. If a role for XMRV is established, there could be new opportunities for prevention and treatment of these diseases.
Chronic fatigue syndrome:
Patient community websites and blogs
Cort Johnson’s Phoenix Rising website
Cort Johnson’s Blog and comments
“A supernova (pl. supernovae) is a stellar explosion. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy”. This discovery has the potential for being a world changing event in every way for chronic fatigue syndrome patients. If it really works out – still an if – one almost has to think in inter-galactic terms to find an appropriate analogy of how different things could be five years from now…”
Check out “The Potential of XMRV” in the latest edition of ‘Bringing the Heat’ from Phoenix Rising.
This is ME – rutts tankespinn
Previous ME agenda Media Round ups
Round up 12: XMRV Retrovirus Whittemore Peterson CFS study Media Round up 12: http://wp.me/p5foE-2c2
Round up 11: XMRV Retrovirus Whittemore Peterson CFS study Media Round up 11: http://wp.me/p5foE-2bB
Round up 10: Whittemore Peterson Institute XMRV retrovirus study link with CFS (Science journal):
Round up 9: Notice from Dr David Bell, Lyndonville News; Article by Paul R. Cheney MD, PhD:
Round up 8: XMRV retrovirus study: Position statement from ME Association 14.10.09: http://wp.me/p5foE-2at
Round up 7: XMRV Retrovirus: Whittemore Peterson Institute: CFS: Media Round up 7: http://wp.me/p5foE-2aa
Round up 6: XMRV Retrovirus: Whittemore Peterson Institute Chronic Fatigue Syndrome study: Videos and audios: http://wp.me/p5foE-29L
Round up 5: Supporting Online Material for XMRV Chronic Fatigue Syndrome study: http://wp.me/p5foE-299
Round up 4: XMRV Retrovirus: Whittemore Peterson Institute Chronic Fatigue Syndrome study:
Round up 3: Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome retrovirus XMRV in the media: http://wp.me/p5foE-280
Round up 2: Science 9 October 2009: Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome link to retrovirus: 08.10.09: http://wp.me/p5foE-27v
Round up 1: Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome link to retrovirus: 09.10.09: http://wp.me/p5foE-272