Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WPI response to UK XMRV study

http://www.wpinstitute.org/news/docs/WPI_Erlwein_010610.pdf

Official Statement from the Whittemore Peterson Institute Regarding UK Study

The Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) has reviewed the paper entitled
"Failure to Detect the
Novel Retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." This study did not duplicate the rigorous scientific techniques used by WPI, the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland
Clinic, therefore it cannot be considered a replication study nor can the results claim to be anything other than a failure not just to detect XMRV, but also a failure to suggest meaningful results.

The scientific methods used by WPI are very exact and require specific
techniques to ensure
accuracy. Differences in techniques employed by Erlwein et al. not only
explain their failure to replicate the WPI study, but also render the conclusions meaningless
.
These
differences
include, but are not limited to the following:

1) blood sample volumes and processing;
2) patient criteria/population differences;
3) number and type of tests done to assure accurate results, including white
blood cell
culture;
4) use of a molecular plasmid control in water versus a positive blood
sample; and
5) different primer sequences and amplification protocol used to find the
virus, which
were not validated by a clinical control.

The WPI study was published after six months of rigorous review and three
independent lab
confirmations, proving that contamination had not taken place and that
infectious XMRV was
present in 67 percent of CFS patients diagnosed according to the Canadian
and Fukuda criteria.
In contrast,
this latest study was published online after only three days of
review. Significant and critical questions remain as to the status of patient samples used in the UK study as those samples may have been confused with fatigued psychiatric patients
, since the
UK has relegated
"CFS" patients to psychiatric care and not traditional medical practices.

"Little is known about the prevalence of XMRV world-wide, much less the
incidence of XMRV
in ME/CFS or prostate cancer" emphasizes Dr. Judy Mikovits. "WPI and its NCI
collaborators
are actively engaged with international research teams to investigate these
important questions."
WPI does not recommend the use of anti-retroviral drugs that have yet to be
proven to be
effective in treating XMRV infection. However, several large pharmaceutical
companies have
expressed interest in developing anti-retroviral and immune modulating drugs
that will
effectively treat XMRV associated diseases.

WPI looks forward to the results of other scientific groups around the
world, serious about
replicating its scientific results, by using the same techniques as WPI and
its collaborators.
The
fact that XMRV was detected in 67 percent of the CFS samples in the U.S.
study determined a
significant association between XMRV and CFS, demanding a much more serious
inquiry by
responsible health agencies around the world as to the cause of this
debilitating disease.

Whittemore Peterson Institute
The Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease exists to bring
discovery, knowledge,
and effective treatments to patients with illnesses that are caused by
acquired dysregulation of the
immune system and the nervous system, often results in lifelong disease and
disability. The WPI is
the first institute in the world dedicated to X associated neuro-immune
disease (XAND), and other X
associated diseases, integrating patient treatment, basic and clinical
research and medical
education.



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