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ABC Australia: McClure (ICL) "Virus linked to prostate cancer and CFS"

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Dx Revision Watch, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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  2. Doogle

    Doogle Senior Member

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    Note: I am not defending McClure, just bringing up points to try to clear up some issues.

    I believe she was referring to an earlier, but not yet published study that was supposed to be published in early spring but has gotten postponed for reasons unknown to me.

    Technically she's right. remember Lombardi's group is the WPI, the National Cancer Institute, and the Cleveland Clinic. It would be more difficult for her to admit her results opposed all those institutions.

    Actually, I think she is trying to say the opposite. She said it's not a contaminant because the sequence differs slightly from patient to patient in the prostate study (I have not idea if this is correct). I seem to remember reading the McClure group (can't find where I read it) believes sequences seen in CFS patients were identical, but if you look at the Supporting Online Material that is not the case. The McClure group has ignored the Supporting Online Material in their public statements.
     
  3. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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  4. fred

    fred The game is afoot

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    shrewsbury member

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  6. rebecca1995

    rebecca1995 Apple, anyone?

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    McClure said,
    I can't believe she used the term "ad nauseum"! That strikes me as incredibly unprofessional.

    Thanks to Fred and all for the partial transcript...can't wait to see the full transcript on the site tomorrow.
     
  7. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    Yes. She attacked WPI when she published her study after 3 days review on PLoS.com, saying WPI should have only published if they were 1000% sure and that she was 1000% sure of her results. Then she publishes an editorial with Wessely in BMJ a few weeks later continuing to belittle WPI and what she calls here "chronic fatigue people." She has a hell of a lot of nerve and deserves the excoriation she gets.

    She's probably got narcissitic personality disorder like Wessely since she has to falsely try to take the moral high ground again here against 'unethical' tests and prescription of antiretrovirals. Has anyone heard of any doctor prescribing this or even ruminating that this might be a possiblity in the near future? I certainly haven't. I wouldn't be suprised it isn't more BS from this unethical Wessely abettor.

    Great comments here from everyone!
     
  8. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Esther, the Wesseley study had no influence on progress, at least in US. If anything, the controversy caused more scientists to want to do their own.

    None of the ones that were working with WPI have dropped out.

    Tina
     
  9. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    Maybe. I was surprised to hear her say here that the XMRV in question in the 'CFS' study was exactly the same as the one in prostate cancer.
     
  10. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    Is ICL the unethical people she was trying to stop from offering XMRV testing? How noble of her!;)
     
  11. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    God, is she really that incompetent?
     
  12. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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    Transcript ABC McClure 12 April

    Thanks, catch, and here it is in full:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2010/2867629.htm#transcript

    Transcript

    This transcript was typed from a recording of the program. The ABC cannot guarantee its complete accuracy because of the possibility of mishearing and occasional difficulty in identifying speakers.


    Norman Swan: Welcome to the program. This morning on the Health Report a curable cancer that occurs during pregnancy and which could probably be looked after a lot better. The latest on lung cancer including a possible new treatment and an extraordinary story which is evolving as we speak. It's whether prostate cancer is linked to a viral infection, a very unusual virus and a suggestion by some researchers that this same virus may have something to do with chronic fatigue syndrome.

    As you're about to hear it's a research landscape littered with landmines and someone who's been making her way through it with only minor injuries so far, is Myra McClure who's a Professor of Retrovirology at Imperial College London.

    Myra McClure: The virus is xenotropic murine leukaemia virus related viruses. We call it XMRV for short.

    Norman Swan:
    XMRV is one of a family of viruses that once upon a time infected mice then weaseled its way into mouse chromosomes to find a permanent home. Having done so the viral genes have been passed down to offspring as part of their inheritance. But this particular virus seems to have broken out of its genetic prison and is infecting humans. Myra McClure again.

    Myra McClure: Well it is an entirely new virus in the sense that it's not exactly the same as any other known murine leukaemia virus.

    Norman Swan: Why did it come to your attention?

    Myra McClure:
    Well it came to our attention quite late in the day actually because the first paper of the identification of the virus was in 2006 and we didn't get really interested in it until last year 2009 when a second paper came out showing that this virus was connected not just with the familial form of prostate cancer but with all forms of prostate cancer.

    Norman Swan: So just go back to this earlier identification, what was being identified here?

    Myra McClure: Genome sequences related to the virus were being identified in tissue samples taken from patients with prostate cancer from the tumour they identified this strange murine leukaemia virus.

    Norman Swan: So in a sense although it's not HIV, it's done what HIV does which is interpolated itself into the DNA of the human being.

    Myra McClure: Absolutely right, all retroviruses have this characteristic that when they infect a cell their genetic material gets integrated into the whole cell genetic material and it's there for life after that.

    Norman Swan: So that was the first paper, and then another paper came out.

    Myra McClure: Then another paper came out saying that we can find this virus in not just the familial cases, that is where families have got a history of prostate cancer but in sporadic cases and people that just get prostate cancer serendipitously and that became interesting because I think the figure was 23% of all prostate cancer patients were carrying this virus, or evidence of this virus infection.

    Norman Swan: 23%?

    Myra McClure: Yes that's a lot.

    Norman Swan:
    Compared to, I mean what's the average in terms of men carrying this virus?

    Myra McClure: Well this virus hadn't been found anywhere before in any malignancy so this was really the first finding. Nobody had any inclination that there was a virus connected with prostate cancer before this was found. So to find it now in 23% of tissues was quite a finding.

    Norman Swan: And have you looked at normal men without prostate cancer?

    Myra McClure: Yes they have and the incidence is very much lower, it's about something in the region of 1% and indeed there has been another interesting paper come out recently looking at healthy Japanese blood donors and they find that 1.7% of them are carrying the virus. So this is quite an interesting virus there is a percentage of people who are healthy who have got it but the much higher percentage of men with prostate cancer seem to have it.

    Norman Swan:
    And has anybody found the free virus?

    Myra McClure: No, as far as I'm aware this virus has just been found in tissues, I don't think anybody has actually isolated the virus from for example a blood sample yet - no.

    Norman Swan:
    And what did you decide what you wanted to do with it?

    Myra McClure: Well we run here as part of our research department a diagnostic service so making the sort of tests that identify viruses is second nature to us and we're interested in retroviruses, all sorts of retroviruses. So we thought well let's see if this virus has now been identified in two different centres in the United States, if it's real it's going to revolutionise the treatment of prostate cancer. So we thought we'll develop a test which will tell us whether or not the archived samples, the samples we've had stored for many years here at St Mary's Hospital are actually showing evidence of the virus. So we had the test ready to do that and that's what we are doing.

    Norman Swan: So you had if you like a bio-bank of samples from men with prostate cancer?

    Myra McClure: Yes, that's exactly right. The urologist here Dr Anoop Patel had been very foreseeing ten years ago he started setting up this bio-bank when he had patients with cancer who had had a biopsy he sent it to the histopathologist and the histopagthologist here Dr Marjorie Walker kept the tissue in paraffin blocks so they've been here maintained over all these years. And we get a small slice of these and we looked to see if the virus is present.

    Norman Swan: And at the time of doing this interview with you you're not allowed to tell me what the results were because you haven't published yet.

    Myra McClure: Well I'd rather not because you know there's a huge controversy. This virus has been born into controversy. The Americans say they can find that the first studies said 40% of familial prostate cancer, the second study said 23% of all prostate cancers, then an Irish group and a Swedish group came out and said they may be finding it in the States but we can't find it in our prostate cancers. Then a German group looked at 500 prostate cancer patients and they couldn't find it either. So people were beginning to say well if it is a real virus it's not in Europe but we're actually finding it I have to say.

    Norman Swan: And it's not possible it's a contaminant that it's just crept into samples by accident?

    Myra McClure: That's always a problem with retroviruses and their association with disease - this time it's not and I'll tell you why, because the people who published the American studies have been very careful to sequence this virus and the sequence and the phylogenetic analysis that is looking at the sequence of one virus compared to another and the eight samples they have are sequences taken from eight different viruses, taken from eight different patients with prostate cancer. All these are slightly different. Now if it were a lab contaminant you would have expected them all to be the same and they're not.

    And secondly if it were a lab contaminant it would be exactly the same in sequence as all other known murine leukaemia viruses and it's not - it's different. So it's a real new virus.

    Norman Swan:
    To what extent are retroviruses carcinogenic, cancer causing, because it could just be a traveller with cancer, you could be susceptible because you've got the cancer rather than it having anything to do with the cause?

    Myra McClure: Absolutely right and in fact the mechanism as to how this virus causes cancer is not clear because this is a very simple virus, it only has three genes, there is no oncogene there.

    Norman Swan: No cancer gene.

    Myra McClure: No cancer gene, so there's no cancer causing gene in the virus so it's not doing it in an obvious way. It's possible that it's an indirect effect of the infection. In other words the infection with this virus is causing inflammation and it's the inflammatory response which is maybe playing a role in producing the cancer.

    Norman Swan: If it were to be a real effect that it's there and much more commonly in people with prostate cancer what might you speculate is the epidemiology, how it behaves in the community?

    Myra McClure: You're asking the very questions that we've just applied for funding to investigate. Nobody knows what the epidemiology is like and that's the very first question that we have to answer. Whose got it, is it just in the States, is it in Europe, what other cancers in fact are associated with this? There are all sorts of questions to be asked not least because if the Japanese study is right and 1.7% of healthy people are carrying this then we're talking about a virus which may or may not have an association with a cancer which is in the general population. And retroviruses are transmitted sexually and they are transmitted via bodily fluids so you would want to know what the epidemiology of this is.

    Norman Swan:
    And accidentally you got involved with chronic fatigue syndrome?

    Myra McClure: Completely accidentally, as I say we were set up to look at this virus and its association with prostate cancer when we were approached by people at King's College London who have a cohort of chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Now this is not a disease that we have any expertise in or that we work on here but because they knew we were a retrovirus lab they wrote and asked had we heard of this virus and of course we had, and what did we think of the association with chronic fatigue - well we had no idea.

    Norman Swan: And it's exactly the same virus that you were looking at in prostate cancer?

    Myra McClure:
    Exactly the same virus yes. So they asked us would we be willing to test samples that they had stored at King's and of course we said yes. So they sent us DNA that they had stored down over several years from people who had been very sick with chronic fatigue and we tested it with our assay which was highly sensitive, in fact the assay will detect one single copy of this virus and we didn't find any evidence for the infection.

    Norman Swan: And you published it to some controversy?

    Myra McClure: It's always controversial when you publish findings that are diametrically opposed to findings that have had such a high profile. After all Science is probably one of the best scientific journals in the world.

    Norman Swan: And to explain, there is a bit of an industry here suggesting that retroviruses are a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Myra McClure: Well that's what we were afraid of really, I don't suppose we would have rushed out to publish these findings, I mean for us it was just a couple of weeks work, it was not our mainstream interest. But the reason we rushed into print with this and we did, was because we had some evidence through the net and through the grapevine that people were being offered this test, quite expensive, and much, much worse than that that patients were being offered anti-retroviral therapy, the sort of therapy you would give HIV patients. And there's no evidence that these drugs will work effectively against this virus, and you don't want to be giving this sort of therapy which has all sorts of side effects unless you're absolutely sure that (a) the virus is sensitive and (b) that the virus is causing the disease.

    Now there has been a Japanese study which has shown, an invitro study, that's just looking at the virus growing in the laboratory in culture to show that only one of the known anti-retroviral drugs works against this invitro and that's AZT. So it's a waste of time giving anything else anyway and we don't even know if it's going to work in vivo, so we wanted to put a stop to that because we felt it wasn't ethical.

    Norman Swan: And so based on this particular sample it doesn't look as if there is a cause and effect relationship at all, in fact it's not there at all.

    Myra McClure: I can't say that because all we have done is to test 186 chronic fatigue patients, I mean we could be in the same position for example as the Americans are with their prostate cancer. They are the only people who can find an association so far until we publish anything that we might find. So we can't say that because as the American group, Lombardi's group, have pointed out ad nauseam to people we are not testing the same patients as they have.

    Norman Swan: The Lombardi group?

    Myra McClure: That's the people who published the Science paper showing the association of chronic fatigue with this virus. In fact they say that 68% of chronic fatigue people are carrying this virus. We looked at our patients and didn't find any.

    Norman Swan: Myra McClure is Professor of Retrovirology at Imperial College London. And you're listening to the Health Report here on ABC Radio National with me Norman Swan.

    References:

    Van Kuppeveld FJM et al. Prevalence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in the Netherlands. British Medical Journal 2010;340:c1018

    Myra McClure and Simon Wessely. Chronic fatigue syndrome and human retrovirus XMRV. (Editorial) British Medical Journal 2010;340:c1099

    Kaye EO et al Failure to detect the novel retrovirus XMRV in chronic fatigue syndrome. PLoS One 2010 Jan 6;5(1):e8519

    Lombardi VC et al. Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Science 2009;326:585-9



    Comments


    Doug Stein :
    12 Apr 2010 5:09:49pm

    I do not have any medical training, so please excuse the spelling.

    I have suffered from Chronic Fatigue for about 20 years - I was forced to give up work at age 49. It initially presented itself following a severe viral infection.

    In 2006 I was diagonised with Prostate cancer, & had a nerve sparing radical prostatectomy in Jan 2007.

    So I have both condidions mentioned in this report.

    But still I had not used up all my luck - last year I found I had an adenoid cystic carcenoma (more radical surgery). It seems that This cancer had been un-diagonised since 2005.

    So I can readily see the possible relationship between the first 2 diseases.

    Regards Doug Stein.
     
  13. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    This is interesting. It is hard to be 1000% sure when you weren't the one in charge of collecting the samples. ;)
     
  14. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    no she isnt that has always been my worry a retrovirologist of such renown looking for a rna virus but not searching for rna. she clearly did not read the study or if she did ignored the contents therin
     
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Or even "1000% sure" that the DNA proceedure was done correctly and the frozen samples were viable.

    In the interview McClure said that the DNA was given to them by Kings. This corresponds with explanations she gave online as well.

    She didn't even do the whole job herself.
     
  16. Megan

    Megan Senior Member

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    I note the post above from ME Agenda's FOI request (post #19). Am I reading this right? Does it mean they have altered the test they are using in the current prostate study from the test they used in the CFS study? Would this explain why they are finding it now but could't before? Seems pretty important issue to me.
     
  17. oerganix

    oerganix Senior Member

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    "Myra McClure: It's always controversial when you publish findings that are diametrically opposed to findings that have had such a high profile. After all Science is probably one of the best scientific journals in the world."

    Very interesting comment considering that a subsequent BMJ editorial attacked Science and badmouthed it five or six times, using words like "poor journalism" and other pejoratives.
     
  18. Bob

    Bob

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    I'm certain that you must be right Megan, because their initial study with ME patients didn't find any XMRV at all, not even in the normal population, and now they are finding XMRV in significant numbers of prostate cancer patients, and she admits that XMRV is present in 1% (her figure) of the normal population, at least in Japan anyway.
     
  19. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    I think the 1% figure for the UK population was based on the percentage of healthy controls who were involved in the prostate trial.
    It is quite a jump from saying that XMRV is not a British citizen to saying that it inhabits one in a hundred of the British population.
     
  20. oerganix

    oerganix Senior Member

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    Dr Mikovits has speculated that, regarding blood donations, it might be possible to heat treat donated blood as is done for HIV, and make the blood safe for transfusion. I wouldn't put it past Wessely to have the samples treated just enough to insure no XMRV would be found. This would be another desperate attempt to knock out a viral/retroviral cause for ME/CFS, but he is getting desperate, it seems to me. The stupid part of this scenario is that finding ZERO XMRV made the finding even more suspicious.

    I think McClure is realizing she was set up.
     

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