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Article: Dr. Katz at the Mike - the CAA Webinar on XMRV and Blood Safety

Comments

From CBS - who was prevented by a glitch from posting

suspect that Dr. Katz is referring to Dr. Alter here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_J._Alter).

Here are exerts from Dr. Alter's Wikipedia page:


Career

Alter has a medical license issued by the District of Columbia. Additionally he holds certification by the American Board of Pathology-Subspecialty Blood Banking and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians/American Society Internal Medicine. Clinical appointments include: director, hematology research at Georgetown University Hospital from 7/66-6/69; senior investigator in the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH from 7/69-present; chief of infectious diseases section at the department of transfusion medicine in the Clinical Center NIH from 12/72-present; associate director for research at the department of transfusion medicine at the Clinical Center at NIH from 1/87-present.

Alter came to the NIH Clinical Center as a senior investigator in 1969. He remains at the NIH as a chief of the infectious diseases section and associate director of research in the department of transfusion medicine.
Medical research

As a young research fellow in 1964, Alter co-discovered the Australian antigen with Baruch Blumberg. This work was a major factor in isolating the hepatitis B virus. Later, Alter lead a Clinical Center project to store blood samples used to uncover the causes and reduce the risk of transfusion-associated hepatitis. Based on his work, the United States started blood and donor screening programs that lowered the cause of hepatitis due to this risk from 30 percent in 1970 to nearly 0.

Discovery of hepatitis C

In the mid 1970’s, Alter and his research team demonstrated that most post-transfusion hepatitis cases were not due to hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses. Alter, in collaboration with Bob Purcell and Paige L. Meredith, proved through transmission studies in chimpanzees that a new form of hepatitis, initially called “non-A, non-B hepatitis” caused the infections. This work eventually lead to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. In 1988 the new hepatitis virus was confirmed by Alter's group by verifying its presence in their stored panel of NANBH specimens. In April 1989, the discovery of the non-A, non-B virus, re-named hepatitis C virus, was published in two articles in Science.

Honors and award

Alter has received recognition for his research including the 2000 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research for his work leading to the discovery of the virus that causes hepatitis C. Alter and his co-awardee Michael Houghton were recognized for the development of blood screening methods that essentially eliminated the risk of transfusion-associated hepatitis in the U.S. Other honors for his medical research include the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award conferred to civilians in United States government public health service. Alter has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. In 2002 he received The International Society of Blood Transfusion Presidential Award. And in 2005, he received the American College of Physicians Award for Outstanding Work in Science as Related to Medicine, and the First International Prize of Inserm (the French equivalent of NIH).

Speaking of Alter's long research career at the time of the 2000 Lasker Award, Dr. Harvey Klein, chief of the Clinical Center Transfusion Medicine Department noted, "As a young research fellow, Dr. Alter co-discovered the Australia antigen, a key to detecting hepatitis B virus. For many investigators that would be the highlight of a career. For Dr. Alter it was only an auspicious beginning."
 
Based on his work, the United States started blood and donor screening programs that lowered the cause of hepatitis due to this risk from 30 percent in 1970 to nearly 0.
The International Blood Transfusion Presidential Award,

I guess so :) You kind of felt that Katz just thought he was great! And I'm sure he's been in close touch with him ;) - I can't imagine that that study is not going to be positive. Annette Whittemore was practically glowing on the latest Nevada Newsmakers show - she seems very confident....
 
This was just published today.

Findings by Reno scientists confirmed by U.S. government

Dr. Judy Mikovits, one of the lead researchers with the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno, said the FDA’s review of their findings is scheduled to be published in September.

“There has been an issue over whether anybody could replicate our study, and it will not only confirm our findings but extend our findings, which is really exciting for us,” she said.
 
I'm sorry, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that the defining symptom of this illness, PEM (post exertional malaise) is caused by a multitude of things. I had mononucleosis in 1974, a full 3 years before I got CFS. Mono was a cakewalk compared to this! I didn't go to school or work for a couple of weeks, but I didn't have to have anyone take care of me. Since I got CFS I have spent many a year bedridden and dependent, unable to even walk to the kitchen, unable to sit up, sometimes being reduced to using a commode because I didn't have enough energy to get to the bathroom. How can it be that we all suffer this debilitating lack of energy and payback for the slightest effort (for me at times even turning over in bed!) to one degree or another if it's from multiple causes? Isn't it possible that all these subsets turn out to be an artifact of the medical community's lack of desire to take the time or make the effort to understand us and this illness? Your case is too complicated, I was told by an employee of a doctor who was refusing to treat me any longer! How could they understand if they fire any patient who might lead them to question their understanding of medicine? I didn't even understand the commonality of this PEM myself until recently and I got this before most of you - back in 1977.

Another commonality seems to be the relapsing/remitting nature of this illness.

How can we all be suffering from these things if the cause is not a common pathogen?

It seems to me there are more cases all the time. Is that true? Or is this just an artifact of the medical community becoming more aware of CFS or the patient community being more connected because of the Internet? There are very few of us who got sick before the 80s, but many more cases from the 80s on. Or am I mistaken? Are there any surveys out there showing this growth? If the numbers are growing, couldn't that also imply infectivity?
 
Isn't it possible that all these subsets turn out to be an artifact of the medical community's lack of desire to take the time or make the effort to understand us and this illness? Your case is too complicated, I was told by an employee of a doctor who was refusing to treat me any longer! How could they understand if they fire any patient who might lead them to question their understanding of medicine?
Well said, illsince1977.

gracenote, ill since 1982
 
explainer

I'm sorry, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that the defining symptom of this illness, PEM (post exertional malaise) is caused by a multitude of things. I had mononucleosis in 1974, a full 3 years before I got CFS. Mono was a cakewalk compared to this! I didn't go to school or work for a couple of weeks, but I didn't have to have anyone take care of me. Since I got CFS I have spent many a year bedridden and dependent, unable to even walk to the kitchen, unable to sit up, sometimes being reduced to using a commode because I didn't have enough energy to get to the bathroom. How can it be that we all suffer this debilitating lack of energy and payback for the slightest effort (for me at times even turning over in bed!) to one degree or another if it's from multiple causes? Isn't it possible that all these subsets turn out to be an artifact of the medical community's lack of desire to take the time or make the effort to understand us and this illness? Your case is too complicated, I was told by an employee of a doctor who was refusing to treat me any longer! How could they understand if they fire any patient who might lead them to question their understanding of medicine? I didn't even understand the commonality of this PEM myself until recently and I got this before most of you - back in 1977.

Another commonality seems to be the relapsing/remitting nature of this illness.

How can we all be suffering from these things if the cause is not a common pathogen?

It seems to me there are more cases all the time. Is that true? Or is this just an artifact of the medical community becoming more aware of CFS or the patient community being more connected because of the Internet? There are very few of us who got sick before the 80s, but many more cases from the 80s on. Or am I mistaken? Are there any surveys out there showing this growth? If the numbers are growing, couldn't that also imply infectivity?
Ila,

You are correct, the internet has connected patients in ways that would never have been possible in the 80s. The epidemiological studies split - those done by the CDC and the Wessely School just happen to hover around the percent they believe represents patients who complain of symptoms, but don't really have a disease. These figures are the result of broadening the criteria for CFS so that everyone and their cousin Bob meets the criteria. Other criteria, like the Canadian criteria select subsets that are far sicker. Others such as Lenny Jason's epi work estimates that many CFS patients have been misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed.

As for the one pathogen = one disease concept, that comes from the 19th century using cholera as the example. Read up on Koch's Postulates.

Right now the scientific evidence supports multiple causes for one disease or diseases with core symptoms. Subsets are the result of hundreds of studies that cannot find the exact same set of symptoms and abnormalities in every single patient every single time who all purportedly have CFS.

Remember, the same pathogen can also cause multiple diseases. Mononucleosis is but one of the diseases caused by EBV, others include cancer and possibly CFS in a subset of patients.

One reason is that CFS has become an umbrella term and is defined in many different ways, another may be because scientists don't often note how long the patient has been ill - different disease stages, or possibly tests are carried out at a time when symptoms are waning instead of going gangbusters.

The science is there, but not enough of it. That is why some scientists like Dr. Montoya are now doing workups on patients that include multiple viruses, bacteria and toxins.

Different treatments for different subsets is borne out by the literature showing both within CFS and in virology in general that anti-virals unlike antibiotics target only specific viruses. If you have combination or a different one than the one the anti-viral targets you are unlikely to help every single patient.
 
Well said, illsince1977.

gracenote, ill since 1982
Perhaps XMRV will be a paradigm shifter that will cause them to look at all sorts of mysterious diseases differently.