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New investigation supports correlation between XMRV and prostate cancer
Date:4/5/2010

Philadelphia, PA, April 5, 2010 The recently discovered retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), has been identified in some prostate cancer patients. In light of conflicting data concerning XMRV, standardized diagnostic testing is important to identify patients in which XMRV is present and to determine whether it plays a role in the incidence of prostate cancer. An article published in the April issue of Urology is a step in this direction as researchers from Emory University report the successful development of an experimental clinical test for XMRV.

"We cannot as a scientific community begin to answer the basic questions of XMRV transmission, frequency in the population, association with disease, etc. until we can effectively test for infection," according to lead investigator John A. Petros, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine and Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Petros and co-investigators adapted technology developed in the HIV arena (neutralizing antibody assay) and have developed a serum test that can identify patients who have previously been infected with the virus. This assay has been rigorously confirmed by two independent labs and two independent technologies (PCR and FISH), thus confidence in the accuracy of the test is high.

The mode of transmission of the virus is unknown. No method is available to screen either blood or tissue donors for infection and no data are available regarding whether the virus can be transmitted by blood transfusion or tissue transplantation. Dr. Petros comments, "The public deserves to know if the next blood transfusion or organ donation will give them XMRV retrovirus, an infection which lasts for life, and could possibly be related to prostate cancer. The failure to develop accurate tests for this virus is a serious public health oversight."

Although the assay used in the present report involved the inhibition
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Contact: Sarah Kane
s.kane@elsevier.com
215-239-3798
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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