Tuesday, September 8, 2009
New Research on XMRV Virus & Prostate Cancer
XMRV (Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) has previously just been know for causing leukemia and sarcoma in animals. There has been no proof of any effect in humans until now. A study from the University of Utah found evidence that this retrovirus may cause prostrate cancer in humans. If XMRV does indeed contribute to cancer, it would join the few viruses we discussed in class, like Human Papilloma Virus, that cause cancer.
Researchers identified 27% of the 200 subjects with prostate cancer had the virus, and those with the more "aggressive tumors" had it. The virus is somewhat baffling because of it appears to thrive in the presence of testosterone. Yet, in reading about the study, one is frequently reminded that correlation does not equal causation, and still more research needs to be done to prove the exact relation of XMRV to prostate cancers.
Future studies aim to see if the virus can be sexually transmitted and what the effects are for women. If XMRV does prove to cause cancer, scientists can work toward a vaccine against the virus, which may palliate one of the most common cancers among American men (second only to skin cancer).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6151243/Virus-could-trigger-some-cases-of-prostate-cancer.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8241835.stm http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20090908/virus-linked-to-prostate-cancer
Posted by Tangelo at 9:09 PM