Two more nails in the coffin of XMRV

As long ago as December 2008 we first referred to the possibility that the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) might have some association to risk for prostate cancer. The scientific debate on this issue (and on the proposed association between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome) is continuing.

Two articles and some editorial comment in a recent issue of Science have further seemed to imply that there is, in fact, no correlation between XMRV and risk for either prostate cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome, although the researchers who first reported these associations are still holding to their original claim. There is an excellent commentary on this issue in a recent article on the Medscape web site, and we refer interested readers to that commentary.

Unless some major new evidence comes to light, we suspect that the idea that XMRV infection is a significant factor in the risk for development of prostate cancer is now likely to be a dead issue. However, we shall continue to keep an eye on relevant publications and article, just in case.

As we have said before, it can be very hard to “prove a negative.”

2 Responses

  1. People should ignore this propaganda. XMRV is a variant of HGRV. They are in humans.

  2. The presence of a virus (or other symbiote) in humans is not evidence of relationship to a specific disorder — even when the presence of the symbiote can clearly be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. And please look up the definition of “propaganda.” The above report does not fit that definition.

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