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details on XMRV Task Force at HHS

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by fresh_eyes, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    mountains of north carolina
    I've been waiting for this! Thanks, CAA.

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-c...ating-xmrv-scientific-activities/224210115538

    HHS Coordinating Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus (XMRV) Scientific Activities


    From the CFIDS Association of America's December edition of CFIDSLink
    December 4, 2009

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has formed an interagency scientific working group on XMRV. The Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group will report to the Department’s Blood, Organ and Tissue Senior Executive Council through established mechanisms. No formal statement has been issued yet, but the working group includes representatives from the DHHS Office of Public Health and Science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The working group will have scientific responsibilities for investigation of XMRV as it relates to the blood supply and CFS. Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD, the CFIDS Association’s scientific director, has been asked to participate in the XMRV scientific working group.

    Dr. Jerry Holmberg of the HHS Office of Public Health and Science made a brief presentation on Oct. 30, 2009 to the DHHS CFS Advisory Committee. He described the existing response systems that address threats to blood safety, such as new and emerging infectious agents like XMRV. The HHS Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group will be chaired by a representative of the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and will collaborate closely with the agencies in charge of these systems, including the NHLBI’s Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study (REDS). REDS was created in 1989 to address risks associated with HIV-1, HIV-2, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 in the general blood supply.

    In more recent communications with Dr. Holmberg, he stated that the Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group is taking a three-stage approach to its handling of the issues related to XMRV and the possible link to human disease. The first stage will be to standardize and validate laboratory methods and reagents for XMRV testing. This is important since variations in sample collection and laboratory procedures can produce discrepant results. These standardized approaches will be used initially to test 1,200 healthy donors’ blood samples and 100 CFS patients’ blood samples collected by Dr. Judy Mikovits of the Whittemore Peterson Institute. Stage two will assess the prevalence of XMRV in the general population and blood supply, as well as in other CFS patient cohorts. The third stage will be a series of studies to understand how XMRV is transmitted, whether it causes human disease, and how it affects various subgroups of the population.

    The immediate focus is to ascertain any risks to the general blood supply that XMRV might pose, but the scientific working group is also addressing validation studies for diagnostic tests and if necessary, potential blood screening tests. If the studies indicate that screening is required for blood products, blood screening tests must be submitted to and approved by the FDA before they can be marketed. Neither of the tests currently being offered by two commercial labs has been reviewed by the FDA.

    According to CDC, their XMRV studies using samples obtained from the Whittemore Peterson Institute have HHS attention. The Laboratory Branch in CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention is doing the XMRV testing and not the CDC CFS research group in the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases.

    Representatives from the FDA attended the XMRV meeting sponsored by Abbott Laboratories at Cleveland Clinic on Nov. 11, 2009. Dr. Robert Silverman of the Cleveland Clinic gave a seminar about XMRV for HHS staff on Dec. 2, 2009.

    Dr. Holmberg emphasizes the need for careful application of scientific methods to ensure that these studies are conducted with exceptionally high rigor and reliability so that the results provide a solid scientific foundation for moving forward. He understands the strong interest within the CFS patient community for swift action and definitive answers, and expressed the high priority that this subject is receiving within a broad range of functions within the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The CFIDS Association will provide updates on these important activities as new information becomes available.

    Links:
    December edition of CFIDSLink: http://www.cfids.org/archives/2006-2010-cfidslink/december-2009.asp
    CFIDS Association's XMRV Resources: http://www.cfids.org/XMRV/default.asp#info
    DHHS Statement on Blood Safety and Availability: http://www.cfids.org/xmrv/blood-supply-ophs.pdf
    NCI Q&A About XMRV: http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/XMRV_QandA
    Summary of the October 2009 CFS Advisory Committee meeting: http://www.cfids.org/cfidslink/2009/110401.asp
  2. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Sounds good! Thanks for posting.
  3. Smulan

    Smulan

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    Stockholm
    Great, looks like very appropriate actions in answer to WPI:s findings. Note that its not the Reeves group in CDC thats involved.
  4. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    mountains of north carolina
    Anybody have any thoughts on what this bit is supposed to mean? It sounds like they might be implying that CDC has reconfirmed the finding of XMRV in WPI samples.

    I'm trying to get a handle on where we're at in the three-part plan they outline, and what the time frame might be.

  5. Smulan

    Smulan

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    My thoughts as well. The hole concept and the action plan indicates to me that they dont doubt the XMRV findings, possible so by reconfirmation.
  6. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    Ooooh... excellent use of color fresh_eyes :) That gets through to my foggy brain. I don't think they are saying that they've replicated finding XMRV at all yet in any samples but this is looking good. I am astounded and holding my breath....

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