Ila Singh talks XMRV, replication, drugs, and animal studies (article + video)

julius

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I notice in the video that Dr Singh says XMRV causes CFS, she doesn't qualify the statement in any way. I don't know if it's just a slip of the tongue, but it makes you wonder how much she knows. She is definitely on the inside and close to the action on this.

I have really good feelings about April. It's coming in like a lion.
 
K

_Kim_

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Sorry Nancy Klimas, you have been replaced. Ila Singh has now captured my heart. Big crushes emerging!!!!
 

CBS

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I notice in the video that Dr Singh says XMRV causes CFS, she doesn't qualify the statement in any way. I don't know if it's just a slip of the tongue, but it makes you wonder how much she knows. She is definitely on the inside and close to the action on this.

I have really good feelings about April. It's coming in like a lion.
Julius,

Dr. Singh is quickly becoming THE action on this. Dr. Bateman was exchanging e-mail with her the day the Science article was published. Dr. Bateman has been supplying her with a "well-defined" cohort of CFS patients. And Dr. Singh is currently involved in a whole series of XMRV studies, each building on the others. They are doing so much that would make absolutely no sense if all they had were negative results. Lastly, it is a bit surreal to be watching Ed Yeates, one of our local (for me) science reporters doing the story. I was writing the local papers and TV stations every day to try and get some attention paid to the Science article.

I've said this before but it bears repeating, Dr. Singh is at Huntsman Cancer Institute (one of the best in the world) and ARUP (a huge specialty lab) and she remains an adjusct prof at Columbia.
 

Navid

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wow this is great in soooo many ways:

1) cfs defined as a devastating disease that affects 1-4 million americans....stated as a fact on local Utah news!!!!!
2) a respected, intelligent scientist talking about CFS as a matter of fact disease.
3) that same scientist perhaps unraveling the mystery of the disease and potential treatments
4) that same scientist has a hand drawn picture of her family on the bulletin board behind her (by her kid?)

Seriously, I am so happy that my disease is finally considered real and is being looked at by mainstream scientists. thank you god, greater spirit....whoever/whatever is bigger than all of us that has finally aligned all the forces so there is some forward movement on cracking the code on this thing....yahoo!!!!!
 
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This was on the WPI facebook page

Whittemore Peterson Institute Video attached of Dr. Ila Singh and the Drugs that inhibit XMRV

I have written a thank you note to Ila please consider doing the same as she is working hard with other XMRV researchers including WPI to replicate the Science study :)
Great to know that Dr Singh is working with WPI, amongst others, to replicate the Science study.

Nice idea to write her a thank you email. Saw somewhere that she doesn't answer emails - guess it's cuz she's too busy doing amazing research!
 

rebecca1995

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Yuppie Flu begone!

Have you ever noticed how even coverage that takes ME/CFS pretty seriously manages to slip in a Yuppie Flu reference? Like, "Once derided as mere "yuppie flu", chronic fatigue syndrome is now getting more respect..."

Well, there was nothing like that in the interview! Hooray! I second lisag's points.

Folks, after a looooonnnng winter, the April surprises are starting to roll in!
 
R

Robin

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So if the animals show signs of CFS after they have been given XMRV - that's it then, we're be 100% certain they are connected ?

I think this is a drug trial type of thing rather than an animal model.

First, we don't know if the animals will show CFS (ie if they are capable of having CFS), and second we don't know if some other element in people beyond XMRV causes CFS. Perhaps XMRV + genetics = CFS or XMRV + RNASEL = CFS or XMRV + automomic nervous system dysfunction = CFS or it could be that XMRV does not = CFS at all! So, while an animal model would be useful to prove causality I don't think they're quite ready to do that type of study.

What I think they're doing is testing HIV drugs to see if they have an effect XMRV. They start in tests tubes, then cell cultures and animals, then people. They have to try different doses to figure out how much is effective (if it IS effective) and how much is toxic.
 

kurt

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I notice in the video that Dr Singh says XMRV causes CFS, she doesn't qualify the statement in any way. I don't know if it's just a slip of the tongue, but it makes you wonder how much she knows. She is definitely on the inside and close to the action on this.
That statement worries me, there is no substantiation for that comment in published research. Either she knows something unpublished that the rest of us do not, or she does not respect the rules governing making factual statements in science.

There was also a local newspaper story covering the drug Isentress (aka Raltegravir, by Merck) being used in the study:

AIDS drugs fight prostate cancer-linked virus, U. scientists say

Here is the text of that article:

AIDS drugs fight prostate cancer-linked virus, U. scientists say
By Simeon Bennett
Bloomberg News Service
Updated: 04/02/2010 01:23:36 PM MDT

AIDS drugs blocked a virus linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, a study showed.
Merck's Isentress fought the virus, XMRV, more powerfully than 44 other anti-HIV compounds tested against the pathogen in laboratory experiments, according to researchers from the University of Utah and Emory University. GlaxoSmithKline's Retrovir and Gilead Sciences's Viread also prevented XMRV from replicating, according to a statement from Emory Thursday.
XMRV was discovered in 2006 and has since been found in some prostate tumors and in the blood of people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers say its relationship with both diseases is unclear, and European studies last year failed to find the virus in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Tests of the drugs in patients with XMRV are needed, said Ila Singh, who led the research at the University of Utah's medical school.
"We will need to see the results of clinical trials before these drugs can be used in a clinical setting," Singh said in the statement.
XMRV, like HIV, is a retrovirus that gets incorporated into the genome of the cells it infects. It may trigger cancer by locating in the cell's genetic material next to DNA that controls cell growth, disrupting those genes in a way that allow cells to replicate uncontrollably, Emory said in the statement.
The virus was found in 44 percent of men with the most aggressive form of prostate cancer, Singh found in a study published in September. XMRV turned up in the blood of two- thirds of a set of tissue samples taken from people with chronic fatigue syndrome and 3.7 percent of a group of healthy individuals, according to separate research published in the journal Science in October.
Isentress is the first in a new class of AIDS medicines that halt HIV by blocking an enzyme called integrase the virus uses to insert its genetic material into the nucleus of healthy immune cells. Merck won U.S. approval in July to sell the drug as an initial treatment for HIV patients. It was previously marketed only to patients who had failed all other therapies.
The research was published in the journal PLoS ONE, a publication of the Public Library of Science, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization. The study was funded by Emory's Center for AIDS Research and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Glaxo and Pfizer Inc. combined their HIV-drug units last year, with British company owning 85 percent of the resulting entity, Viiv Healthcare.
 

CBS

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I think this is a drug trial type of thing rather than an animal model.

First, we don't know if the animals will show CFS (ie if they are capable of having CFS), and second we don't know if some other element in people beyond XMRV causes CFS. Perhaps XMRV + genetics = CFS or XMRV + RNASEL = CFS or XMRV + automomic nervous system dysfunction = CFS or it could be that XMRV does not = CFS at all! So, while an animal model would be useful to prove causality I don't think they're quite ready to do that type of study.

What I think they're doing is testing HIV drugs to see if they have an effect XMRV. They start in tests tubes, then cell cultures and animals, then people. They have to try different doses to figure out how much is effective (if it IS effective) and how much is toxic.
Keep in mind that Abbott has already demonstrated that XMRV replicates in non-human primates. God forbid that CSU end up with a lab full of whiny malingering rats with irrational illness beliefs.
:D

In all seriousness, I think that we should all take a moment and give thanks to the animals that are helping get us closer to a cure. It wasn't their choice any more than it was ours. I don't think I could stop it and I often ask if it is within our rights to deprive them of their health. I wonder if at some point in time they knew they were coming here to help us.
 

serenity

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CBS, i hate that part - the animals being tested on. it dampens my spirits. i want to be so hopeful about all this, but i do wish the animals didn't have to suffer.
 

kurt

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Who made you the science police? Good lord.
That statement Singh made that XMRV causes CFS is completely unproven at this time. That is not being 'science police', but a comment about a legitimate mis-representation being made about CFS and XMRV. What's wrong with that?

If I made a comment about CFS that you felt was wrong, I expect you would 'police' that comment.
 
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That statement Singh made that XMRV causes CFS is completely unproven at this time. That is not being a 'science police', but a comment about a legitimate mis-representation being made about CFS and XMRV. What's wrong with that?
Do you think we live in a cave? This has been beaten to death for 6 months. What's wrong is you are a patient continually criticizing scientists and continually insulting the intelligence of other patients.

She did not say "XMRV causes CFS". Said it "XMRV can cause CFS". Plus it was a recorded interview which could have lost its meaning during editing. Accusing a scientist of being "disrespectful of scientific rules" just because of semantics, because she didn't get her wording quite right, or because the context could have been lost to editing, seems to be blowing her remarks way out of proportion just for the sake of wanting to dish out criticism. Scientists are people too. I'm sure if you had your way, a lawyer would have to monitor and approve every word a scientist wishes to say to the media.
 

Jody

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Do you think we live in a cave? This has been beaten to death for 6 months. What's wrong is you are a patient continually criticizing scientists and continually insulting the intelligence of other patients.
cfs since 1998,

Stay on topic please. Stop criticizing and insulting other posters.
 

kurt

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Do you think we live in a cave? This has been beaten to death for 6 months. What's wrong is you are a patient continually criticizing scientists and continually insulting the intelligence of other patients.
Everybody is entitled to comment here on the science.

Do you think XMRV has been proven to cause CFS? I don't and will 'police' comments that I believe are false. You are welcome to do the same. If you disagree with what I said, please comment on the point, and not attack me personally.

Also, did you even notice that I posted additional information about the subject, from a news report, about the drug being tested?