Stephen Goff Interview July 18th, 2010


Senior Member
XMRV: A Virus That May Cause Prostate Cancer

Air date: July 18, 2010
Host: Kathy Miller, MD

Interview: Stephen Goff, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology & biochemistry and molecular biophysics
Columbia University

Next, very early research into a virus that may contain clues to prostate cancer -- and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The virus is called X-M-R-V, which stands for xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus.

The term "murine" indicates that the virus used to be found only in mice. But recently, its apparently made its way into humans as well.

To learn more, Sound Medicine's Dr. Kathy Miller spoke with Dr. Stephen Goff, a microbiologist at Columbia University.

Additional Resources:

■Find details about curent XMRV research from the Whittemore Peterson Institute.
■More on the cancer-causing nature of XMRV.


Phoenix Rising Founder
I agree. I was rather shocked at how positive he sounded. I put this in the XMRV Buzz page

Dr. Goff talks with Dr. Kathy Miller on Sound Medicine in an audio clip. He emphasized that researchers have been working on XMRV's close relatives (the murine retroviruses) since the seventies so there a wide body of knowledge on this general type of retroviruses. The most pathogenic aspect of these retroviruses is their ability to insert themselves in places in the DNA that end up turning on genes that cause cancer. (That has not been found yet in XMRV).

Getting to CFS at the end of the clip he called the association with CFS 'very exciting' and said it was a tentative correlation but then stated he still felt it was 'very exciting'. (Two 'very exciting's in two sentences.....) He then made a very strong statement about the possible link between XMRV and ME/CFS saying "this is the kind of disease that a retrovirus like this might cause". (Contrast that with Dr. Reeves, Dr. Wessely, Dr. White and Dr. Lloyd statements that ME/CFS is NOT the type of disease that a retrovirus would cause) and then followed up with 'we could easily imagine it could be the cause of the symptomology of this chronic fatigue syndrome". Then he kicked the door wide open stating "I think in the grand scheme of things there's the potential that alot of diseases that we don't understand will ultimately be attributed to viral infections. This would be one of the most exciting and clear cases if it comes to pass". Whew!

Did I miss something in his earlier statements or does he sound alot more positive about XMRV than before? It's always easy to read too much into these short interviews but one has to ask oneself if something has gotten our rather cautious retroviral expert a bit more excited on the future of XMRV and CFS. Dr. Goff is a professor at Columbia University.... there is an XMRV study going on there...(?)


Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'
Mackay, Aust
Thanks for the summary Cort. I really appreciate not having to drag myself through another video, especially when not in the best of health. Keep up the good work.


Senior Member
Thanks for this, Cort. I can't follow most audio and some video these days, so I really appreciate your reports.


disjecta membra
Los Angeles, CA
Because I have nothing better to do (no, really, I have nothing better to do) I listened to Dr. Goff's appearance on "This Week in Virology" from back in April, and then to the above-referenced clip from "Sound Medicine" dating from mid-July.

The April TWIV appearance was much longer, more rambly (it's a rambly kind of show usually), and it seemed that Dr. Goff was expressing a fair amount of hesitancy and caution about the CFS connection at that time - because at that time the "negative" studies had started coming out seeming to contradict the Science paper. He also didn't seem to have a lot of specific knowledge about CFS (he incorrectly referred to it as "CF" several times) and didn't mention anything about cohort issues, etc. It's an informative listen, but it's focused on the basic science of XMRV, and nothing jumped out at me that was terribly illuminating about CFS.

Listening to the "Sound Medicine" clip - though it is much shorter, mostly about prostate cancer connections, and contains only a few short offhand remarks about CFS - I detected a real difference in tone. As mentioned above, he repeats "very exciting" several times and mentions that "a lot of people are working on this now."

If I had to guess, I'd say he heard some scuttlebutt between April and July.

I'm looking forward to hearing Ila Singh's interview on TWIV tomorrow. Since everyone is so darn good at keeping mum about embargoed research, I don't expect any significant breaking news to come out of it, but listening between the lines for what people *aren't* saying is always fun!