Whose XMRV serology assay is McClure using?

fred

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Posted on Co-Cure.

http://listserv.nodak.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind1009d&L=co-cure&T=0&F&S&P=4248

From Suzy Chapman

28 September 2010

Circulated on behalf of a member of the public:

May be reposted

FoI request to Imperial College London ref XMRV serology test

Following Professor Myra McClure's statement (in the Q&A session of the 1st International XMRV Workshop ) that "We've now done the serology", a Freedom of Information request was submitted to Imperial College London on 10th September 2010 to identify whether they had developed a serology test for XMRV. This included the following.

(i) Confirmation of whether Imperial College London has developed a serology (anti-body) test for XMRV (xenotropic murine leukaemia-related virus).

(ii) If this test is for both ME (also known as CFS) and prostate cancer combined, or for just one of these diseases in isolation, or if there are separate tests for each of these diseases.

(iii) If this test detects anti-bodies to all MLVs (murine leukaemia related viruses) or just XMRV.

(iv) If this test is used for research purposes only or if it is available commercially or if there are plans to make it available commercially.

(v) If this test has been developed for specific research purposes within Imperial College London, or other research institution, and if these research purposes will be published (e.g. in a science journal or on the college website) and when.

(vi) How long the test has been in use (for research purposes or otherwise).


The following response was received on 27th September 2010.

"Further to your Freedom of Information request, Imperial College has not developed a serology (anti-body) test for XMRV and therefore the remaining questions (ii - vi) are not applicable."

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It is unclear, therefore, which/whose XMRV serology assay is being used by Professor McClure and, given that it has not been developed by the Imperial team itself, how they are able to vouch for its reliability. If the assay in question has been proven empirically to detect XMRV antibodies and, given the growing number of UK patients who are testing positive via the Whittemore Peterson Institute/National Cancer Institute's methods, Imperial's continued failure to detect the retrovirus implies that either they have a flawed sample cohort and/or (as discussed at the 1st International XMRV Workshop) they could be using contaminated test tubes.

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Suzy Chapman
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Stone

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Great Work!

Well done! I've been wondering just how Prof. McClure could say she did the serology when only WPI (and/or VIPDx) was doing it. When Dr. Mikovits said, "No--WE did it" at the end of her exchange with Prof. McClure, do you think she meant that is was her lab that performed the serology for Prof. McClure? Hmmmm. I need to watch that exchange again in the Q&A session after the conference.
 

Megan

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The German group from Robert Koch also had a serology test. In anstract O_18 from the conference it says, 'In none of the sera XMRV specific antibodies were found.' And if I remember right, the CDC also had one. Maybe ICL used one of those?
 
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Well done! I've been wondering just how Prof. McClure could say she did the serology when only WPI (and/or VIPDx) was doing it. When Dr. Mikovits said, "No--WE did it" at the end of her exchange with Prof. McClure, do you think she meant that is was her lab that performed the serology for Prof. McClure? Hmmmm. I need to watch that exchange again in the Q&A session after the conference.
I know the transcriptions say "no we did it" but i think Dr Judy actually said "no, we didn't" meaning either mcclure never asked for her help or possibly that mcclure didnt do any of that testing herself.

Interestingly - on the TWIV 99 episode in Boston - McClure admitted to Racaniello that she shipped her samples out to Shozo Izui in Geneva for serology testing. She also mentioned that his test was not specific for XMRV.
 

Esther12

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I know the transcriptions say "no we did it" but i think Dr Judy actually said "no, we didn't"
I think that there could be some confusion over what was said here too. I was a bit confused by this part when I saw it, and have never really known what they all meant then.
 

Mark

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It was a peculiar exchange alright, and all the interpretations of those words above make some sense to me. I did hear it as "no, we did it", myself.

Cookie Monster's info sounds like it's the answer to the FOI issue, though: it seems fairly clear that the serology was done elsewhere, and so "no, we didn't" makes good sense in that context.

Can't help wondering whether Prof McClure would have simply answered this question herself if asked directly. Has anybody tried that, I wonder?

ETA: It again seems curious to me that the serology referred to by McClure was unpublished work, especially when Dr Mikovits' unpublished reports are dismissed so routinely and she is even roundly criticised for mentioning them publicly - there are so many double standards at play it gets very confusing!

It was similarly strange when McClure's original XMRV/CFS study popped up out of the blue on PlosOne, despite earlier questions in the House of Commons as well as FOI attempts to determine what XMRV studies were being undertaken. These secret studies are a cause for grave concern, because it's fairly obvious that if you undertake studies in secret and then decide which ones you're going to publish, there's huge potential for abuse of the scientific process there.

Of course, that kind of abuse is routine in the pharmaceutical industry, as anybody with contacts in UK medical research should know very well: studies are routinely only published when they get the "right" answer. I know several people who have left their research careers in disgust at the lack of academic freedom and the domination of the research agenda by multinational corporate interests. They broadly agree with my assertion that what one might properly call "Science", or "The Scientific Method", is effectively dead.

This doesn't mean that the scientific studies we get to hear about aren't "true". It's just that there is a selection process being applied to which "truths" we are allowed to know about. Some scientific facts are more convenient than others...

Once corporations are able to control the agenda and skew the results in their favour, the neutrality of Science is fatally compromised. Genuine Scientists can no longer trust the voice of Science in the modern world, I'm afraid.