XMRV and prostate cancer — a brief update

We have previously reported on studies related to the possibility that the xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related (XMRV) virus is in some way involved with risk for prostate cancer in some patients.

An article on the Medscape web site yesterday discusses the latest information and thinking on the relationship between XMRV and prostate cancer risk. The consensus is clearly that we need to know a great deal more about the association between XMRV infection and the subsequent occurrence of prostate cancer before we can reach any serious conclusions about a cause-and-effect association.

The Medscape article notes a recent report by Danielson et al., who were able to detect XMRV in tissue samples from 32/144 (22%) prostate cancer patients. In this study, based on the observation that the virus was present in normal and in cancerous tissues, the researchers have suggested that XMRV infection “may precede and possibly participate in the process of tumorigenesis.” [Bold italic added for emphasis.]

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