Saturday, June 11, 2011
She also makes a plea:"Please do not proceed down a path that could be detrimental to the scientific exploration of human retroviruses in infectious disease, cancer, and, therefore, the future health of millions around the world."
* * *
The proofreader in me asks, how many different ways can they misspell Dr. Judy's last name?
"The fallacy that the cause of chronic fatigue is psychological has set back much-needed research. It is only recently that the National Institutes of Health has approached it seriously. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to mount an effective research program."
Friday, June 10, 2011
— Fareed Zakaria
— Bertrand Russell
Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) is categorised by the World Health
Organisation (WHO) in the 10th edition of the International
Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) as a physical/neurological illness
in section G93.3 (ICD-10-G93.3) where it is also listed as Benign
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME. The WHO acknowledge that the term
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is used as a 'colloquial reference' to
PVFS/ME. There are many thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers
underpinning the biomedical nature of PVFS/ME(CFS). Unfortunately
however, there is a long, dirty and well-documented history of political
vested interests skewing the scientific process as far as PVFS/ME(CFS) is concerned. The experience of the ME community in this respect is
far from unique but few other patient groups and associated
medical/research professionals have had to put up with quite the degree
of sustained adverse political lobbying and assault that afflicts the
field of PVFS/ME(CFS).
In May 2011, Editors of the prestigious journal 'Science' asked the
co-authors of the 2009 paper that linked Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to
infection with a gamma retrovirus, known as XMRV, to voluntarily
retract the paper following other studies that have failed to detect
the retrovirus. Dr Judy Mikovits, one of the 'Science' XMRV paper's key
authors has robustly refused to retract: citing the fact that other
studies have indeed found evidence of human gamma retrovirus infection, that no study to date has replicated or disproved her original research, that other major scientific investigation into gamma retrovirus infection is ongoing and that the science on the matter is very far from
settled. Following the extraordinary request of the 'Science' journal
editors, the scientific literature, established media and the internet
have, not surprisingly, been awash with heated and detailed comment,
claim and counter-claim. However, two key points that seem to be
understated or lost altogether in coverage by much of the established
1. If human gamma retrovirus infection was not really present in in subjects studied and findings were simply an erroneous laboratory contamination issue then how on earth have more than one group of
researchers found significantly more such alleged 'contamination' in patient subjects than control subjects? This simply defies logic.
2. Until the research techniques and patient selection criteria used in
the original Lombardi and Mikovits et al study have been properly and
independently replicated and shown to be both seriously flawed and
indicative of malpractice there should be absolutely no question of
their paper being withdrawn from the journal 'Science'. Premature and
unwarranted calls for such retraction defies professionalism.
In taking the precipitous and extraordinary action that they have
regarding said Lombardi and Mikovits study, the editors of 'Science'
have opened themselves up to the accusation that they are caught up in a
very different 'contamination' issue to the one they write about. Namely
the contamination of what should be independent scientific editorial
with undue political considerations.
The editors now stand accused of having caved-in to behind-the-scenes
pressure. Pressure that has absolutely nothing to do with genuine
science but everything to do with political lobbying by vested
interests. The 'Science' journal is often described as being one of the
most "prestigious" in its field. It is now viewed by many to have sunk
to the level of the gutter press. In my opinion it is the editors of
'Science' that need to retract, not Lombardi and Mikovits et al.
Anglia ME Action
For accuracy, full reference needs to be made to the three-volume
published/book version of ICD 10 (especially the alphabetical
index/volume 3 as well as the tabular list/volume 1) and additional WHO
comment as comprehensive coverage of the ICD is not given on the WHO
website. The bibliographic details of all three ICD-10 volumes are:
- International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related
Health Problems - Tenth Revision -- Second Edition: Volume 1 -- Tabular
List -- ISBN: 92 4 154649 2.
- International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related
Health Problems - Tenth Revision -- Second Edition: Volume 2 --
Instruction Manual -- ISBN: 92 4 154653 0.
- International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related
Health Problems - Tenth Revision -- Second Edition: Volume 3 --
Alphabetical Index -- ISBN: 92 4 154654 9.
 See, for example, documents at the following URLs:
 See for example: Professor Bruce Charlton -- Zombie Science -- a
sinister consequence of evaluating scientific theories purely on the
basis of enlightened self-interest, Medical Hypotheses (2008) 71
327-329, DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.05.018:
 Lombardi VC, Ruscetti FW, Das Gupta J, /et al./ (October 2009).
"Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients
with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". /Science/ *326* (5952): 585--9.
 Editorial Expression of Concern, Science Express, Published Online
31 May 2011. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1208542
Also see Wall Street Journal comment at:
[--- PERMISSION TO REPOST---]
31 MAY 2011
The novel human retrovirus XMRV has been associated with prostate
cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. The nucleotide sequence of XMRV
isolated from humans indicates that the virus is nearly identical with
XMRV produced from a human prostate tumor cell line called 22Rv1. This
cell line was derived by passage of human prostate tumor tissue in
nude mice. Sequence analyses reveal that the genomes of these mouse
strains contain two different proviral DNAs related to XMRV. These
viral genomes recombined to produce XMRV that has been isolated from
XMRV was originally isolated from a human prostate cancer in 2006, and
subsequently associated with ME/CFS. The human cell line 22Rv1, which
was established from a human prostate tumor (CWR22), produces
infectious XMRV. An important question is whether XMRV was present in
the original prostate tumor, or was obtained by passage through nude
mice. To answer this question, DNA from various passages of the
prostate tumor in nude mice (called xenografts), and the mouse strains
used to passage the tumor, were analyzed for the presence of XMRV
Early-passage xenografts did not contain XMRV, but mouse cells found
in them did contain two related proviruses called PreXMRV-1 and
PreXMRV-2. The 3'-3211 nucleotides of PreXMRV-1, and both LTRs, are
identical to XMRV save for two nucleotide differences. The genomic
5'-half of XMRV and PreXMRV-1 differs by 9-10%. PreXMRV-1 is defective
for replication due to mutations in genes encoding the gag and pol
proteins. PreXMRV-2 does not contain obvious mutations that would
prevent the production of infectious viruses. The gag-pro-pol and a
part of the env region of this viral genome is identical to that of
XMRV save for two base differences; the LTRs and the remainder of the
genome differ by 6-12% from XMRV.
Comparison of the sequences of PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2 indicates that
recombination between the two viral genomes led to the formation of
XMRV. When the sequences of PreXMRV-1 and -2 are used to construct the
recombinant XMRV, the resulting virus differs by only 4 nucleotides
from the consensus XMRV sequence derived from all human isolates
reported to date.
The nude mice used for passage of the original prostate tumor were
likely the NU/NU and Hsd strains. Neither mouse strain contains XMRV
proviral DNA, but both contain PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2 proviral DNA.
These data demonstrate that XMRV was not present in the original CWR22
prostate tumor, but arose by recombination of PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2
between 1993-1996. When the original prostate tumor was implanted into
nude mice, some of the mice harbored both pre-XMRV-1 and -2 endogenous
proviruses, which recombined to form XMRV. The authors believe that
XMRV originating from the CRWR22 xenografts, the22Rv1 cell line, or
other related cell lines has contaminated all human samples positive
for the virus. In addition, they suggest that PCR assays for XMRV may
actually detect PreXMRV-1 and -2 or other endogenous viral DNA from
contaminating mouse DNA.
Another possibility to explain the origin of XMRV is that it arose in
mice and can infect humans. If this is true, then XMRV would have to
be present in the nude mice used to passage the CWR22 human prostate
tumor. No evidence for an XMRV provirus was found in 12 different nude
mouse strains, including two used to passage the CWR22 tumor.
Furthermore, a screen of 89 inbred and wild mice failed to reveal the
presence of proviral XMRV DNA. Hence the authors conclude:
...that XMRV arose from a recombination event between two endogenous
MLVs that took place around 1993-1996 in a nude mouse carrying the
CWR22 PC xenograft, and that all of the XMRV isolates reported to date
are descended from this one event.
It is possible that XMRV produced during passage of CWR22 in nude mice
subsequently infected humans. Because XMRV arose between 1993-1996, this scenario could not explain cases of prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome that arose prior to that date.
How can these findings be reconciled with the published evidence that sera of ME/CFS patients from the 1980s contain antibodies to XMRV?
Those antibodies were not shown to be directed specifically against
XMRV, and therefore cannot be used to prove that XMRV circulated in
humans prior to 1993-96. Furthermore, in the absence of clear
isolation of an infectious virus, antibody tests alone have proven
highly unreliable for identification of new viruses.
Where do these findings leave the hypothesis that XMRV is the
etiologic agent of prostate cancer and ME/CFS? All published sequences
of human XMRV isolates are clearly derived by recombination of
PreXMRV-1 and -2. The finding of human XMRV isolates that are not
derived from PreXMRV-1 and -2 would leave a role for XMRV in human
disease. As of this writing, no such XMRV isolates have been reported
in the scientific literature.
Update: A second paper has also been published in Science Express
today entitled "No evidence of murine-like gammaretroviruses in CFS
patients previously identified as XMRV-infected". Editors of the
journal Science have asked the authors to retract their 2009 paper
linking XMRV infection with chronic fatigue syndrome. The authors have
T. Paprotka, K. A. Delviks-Frankenberry, O. Cingoz, A. Martinez, H.-J.
Kung, C.G. Tepper, W-S Hu, M. J. Fivash, J.M. Coffin, & V.K. Pathak
(2011). Recombinant origin of the retrovirus XMRV. Science Express
Murine Viruses and Chronic Fatigue: Does the Story Continue
Posted by Derek
Well, one day after writing an obit for the XMRV
story comes this abstract (http://bit.ly/lFNUiC)
The authors, from Cornell and SUNY-Buffalo, say
that they've detected other murine retrovirus
transcripts from CFS patients (but not in most
controls), and that these are more similar to
those reported in last year's Lo and Alter paper in
PNAS (http://bit.ly/j8LDj9) than they are to XMRV
So perhaps the story continues, and what a mess
it is at this point. I continue to think that the
XMRV hypothesis itself is in serious trouble, but
murine retroviruses as a class are still worth
following up on.
This is tough work, though, because of the twin
problems of detection and contamination, and it's
going to be easy for people to fool themselves.
Meanwhile, Retraction Watch has more
(http://bit.ly/lzSWuo) on Science's *Expression of
Concern* that I wrote about yesterday.
It appears that the journal asked the authors to
retract the paper (so says the Wall Street Journal,
anyway) but that co-author Judy Mikovits turned
them down (as might have been expected from
her previous stands (http://bit.ly/mfzl46) in this
Science released their editorial note early because
of the WSJ piece.
15th International Conference on Human Retroviruses: HTLV and Related Viruses
Table of contents-
XMRV abstracts (not all are on XMRV)- A207-A243 Endogenous Viruses,
Foamy Viruses and XMRV
show to questions about XMRV.
TWiV 136: Exit XMRV
5 June 2011
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Stephen Goff
Retrovirologist Stephen Goff joins Vincent, Rich, and Alan for a
discussion of recent papers on the retrovirus XMRV and its association
with chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer.
Sexual transmission of XMRV:a potential infection route
Prachi Sharma, Kenneth Rogers, Suganthi Suppiah, Ross Ross Molinaro
Ross J. Molinaro, Nattawat Onlamoon, J. Hackett Jr., G. Schochetman,
Eric A. Klein, Robert Silverman, and F. Villinger
Received 27 April 2011; Accepted 25 May 2011
Although XMRV dissemination in humans is a matter of debate, the
prostate of select patients seem to harbor XMRV, which raises
questions about its potential route of transmission. We established a
model of infection in rhesus macaques inoculated with XMRV. In spite
of the intravenous inoculation, all infected macaques exhibited
readily detectable XMRV signal in the reproductive tract of all 4
males and 1 female during both acute and chronic infection stages.
XMRV showed explosive growth in the acini of prostate during acute but
not chronic infection. In seminal vesicles, epididymis and testes,
XMRV protein production was detected throughout infection in
interstitial or epithelial cells. In the female monkey, epithelial
cells in the cervix and vagina were also positive for XMRV gag. The
ready detection of XMRV in the reproductive tract of male and female
macaques infected intravenously, suggests the potential for sexual
transmission for XMRV.
One must wonder whether those who are calling for the retraction of the XMRV paper have read this?
7421 Carmel Executive Park Drive, Suite 320
Charlotte, North Carolina 28226
Tel. (704) 543 9692 · Fax. (704) 543 8547
*XMRV Subset Analysis and Ampligen Treatment
*What Is Ampligen?
``````````````on Ampligen``with placebo``(AMP-PBO)
Dr. Strayer concluded that there was a 70% greater than average exercise response in XMRV+ subjects, and a 40% lower response in those who were XMRV-.
XMRV Discovery and Prostate Cancer Related Research
David E. Kang1,2, Michael C. Lee1,2, Jaydip Das Gupta2, Eric A.
Klein1,2,3, and Robert H. Silverman2,3
1Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, 2Department of Cancer
Biology, Lerner Research Institute, and 3Taussig Cancer Center,
Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195
*Corresponding author: Robert H. Silverman, Cleveland Clinic, 9500
Euclid Avenue NB40, Cleveland, OH 44195. Telephone: 216-445-9650, Fax:
216-445- 6269, e-mail: email@example.com
Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) was first
reported in 2006 in a study of human prostate cancer patients with
genetic variants of the antiviral enzyme, RNase L. Subsequent
investigations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa have either
observed or failed to detect XMRV in patients [prostate cancer,
chronic fatigue syndrome-myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS-ME),
immunosuppressed with respiratory tract infections] or normal, healthy
control individuals. The principal confounding factors are the near
ubiquitous presence of mouse derived reagents, antibodies and cells,
and often XMRV itself, in laboratories. XMRV infects and replicates
well in many human cell lines, but especially in certain prostate
cancer cell lines. XMRV also traffics to prostate in a non-human
primate model of infection. Here we will review the discovery of XMRV
and then focus on prostate cancer related research involving this
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Restricted infection of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus in human lymphoid tissue
Absence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in Danish patients with multiple sclerosis
Heme oxygenase-1 activation inhibits XMRV pathogenesis and carcinogenesis in prostate cancer cells
XMRV replicates preferentially in mucosal sites in vivo: Relevance to XMRV transmission?
A prototype RT-PCR assay for detection of XMRV in multiple human sample types
Immune correlates of XMRV infection (Lombardi, Mikovits, etc)
Prevalence of XMRV in blood donors, HTLV and HIV cohorts
The effects of XMRV gene expression on the mouse prostate
XMRV: usage of receptors and potential co-receptors
Cell line tropism and replication of XMRV
Structure of the xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus matrix protein
Development of XMRV producing B Cell lines from lymphomas from patients
with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Ruscetti, Mikovits and others)
Multi-laboratory evaluations of XMRV nucleic acid (BWG report)
Serologic and PCR testing of persons with chronic fatigue syndrome in
the United States shows no association with xenotropic or polytropic
murine leukemia virus-related virus
XMRV infection in human diseases
Otto Erlwein , Mark J Robinson, Steve Kaye, Myra O McClure, Marjorie M
Walker, Anup Patel, Wun-Jae Kim, Mongkol Uiprasertkul, Ganesh
Gopalakrishnan, Takahiro Kimura and Kikkeri Naresh
Murine leukemia viruses (MuLV) and Xenotropic MuLV-related viruses exhibit inter-tropic complex recombination patterns
Mattia CF Prosperi , William M Switzer, Walid Heneine and Marco Salemi
Detection of MLV-like gag sequences in blood samples from a New York state CFS cohort
Maureen R Hanson , Li L Lee, Lin Lin, David E Bell, David Ruppert and David S Bell
Human infection or lab artifact: will the real XMRV please stand up?
Robert H Silverman
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
standing skirmishes between social medicine and biomedicine (aka the
germ theory model). Fans of the unprovable theory of social medicine's
so-called medicalization theory, such as Dr. Nortin Hadler, believe
fibromyalgia is the "medicalization of misery," but offer no objective
evidence that they are correct. Many rely on the lack of biomedical
evidence or conflicting evidence as proof although absence of proof is
not necessarily considered proof of absence. Others, particularly
early on, argued that if the word fibromyalgia were removed from the
vocabulary of patients, the disease would cease to exist. They offered
no definitive proof of this hypothesis either however. On the
biomedical side the objective biomedical evidence continues to mounts
as scientists learn more about the biological underpinnings of pain.
JOURNEY: SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS
Why Fibromyalgia Has a Credibility Problem
On top of their daily struggle with pain, fibromyalgia patients are
sometimes forced to fight another battle—convincing doctors, friends,
coworkers, and others that their condition is real and that their pain
is not all in their head.
Women suffer disproportionately from fibromyalgia, the symptoms are
complex, and there is no cure. For these reasons, many patients and
some doctors say that fibromyalgia is under-recognized and
undertreated in the U.S.
"It was maddening. I felt like most of the doctors I saw were not
acknowledging that I was really in pain," says Shelley Kirkpatrick,
32, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, who began experiencing fatigue and
excruciating joint and muscle pain in 2004.
"I felt they were thinking I was exaggerating my symptoms or that I
was making them up entirely," says Kirkpatrick. "Even to the point
where I saw a neurologist who told my husband to take me to a
psychiatrist because there was nothing wrong with me."
Finally after two years of fruitless tests, her doctor told her she
The full version can be read here:
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
And that was when I was well enough to go to work.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
the two bits together.
Here's a short link: http://on.fb.me/muyQGk
The trailer is 3 minutes so not too long - direct link:
From: ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Information Exchange Forum
[mailto:CO-CURE@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU] On Behalf Of Greg crowhurst
*Voices From the Shadows*
Trailer for the upcoming documentary; Voices from the shadows', a
compassionate and moving exposé, bearing witness to the devastating
consequences of psychiatric prejudice and medical ignorance about one of the
most prevalent illness of the 21st Century.
Probably the most powerful ME film you will ever see .
Watch , weep and speak-out about the injustice that you and the people you
know are experiencing daily. Things must change.
This film will shock, horrify, enlighten and move you to tears; it
highlights the abuse and neglect of people with ME, as no other film has
The trailer has just been released on Facebook :
(The Lived Experience of Severe ME)