Monitoring updates on XMRV Research for Gulf War Veterans
Gulf War Veterans(90-91) that are dealing with CFS are carefully monitoring what the civilians with CFS are keeping a close eye on and wondering when they will be included in the sample study groups. It is going to be a wait but stay tuned as we monitor any developments on this issue of XMRV findings. Work is occurring quietly but rapidly as far as science goes. Research has very detailed steps to go thru in proving a case but this is getting urgent attention. We at Veterans Today will keep you as updated as possible on this and other issues affecting Gulf War Veterans. So here are two articles from other sources that will help keep you informed.
XMRV Working Group And Nation’s Blood Supply
By Jody Smith
July 28, 2010 – 5:The National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed The Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group including the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blood banks, academic institutions and a patient advocacy organization. The working group is investigating ways to test for the retrovirus XMRV and any possible danger it may present to the blood supply.
Six labs are involved. They are two FDA labs, as well as labs at the National Cancer Institute, the CDC, the Blood Systems Research Institute and the Whittemore-Peterson Institute. These labs have analyzed blood samples containing different amounts of the retrovirus XMRV, in order to determine whether or not the labs’ tests are able to detect XMRV in the blood. This was successful.
“Phase four will analyze blood from 300 blood donors, 25 confirmed XMRV-positive patients, and 30 XMRV-negative samples from 10 independent blood donors. This data will finally get researchers a little closer to answering at least one of the key questions in the still-unfolding drama: Is XMRV widespread in the nation’s blood supply?”
FDA Advisory Committee to Hear About XMRV Working Group’s Research
By Amy Dockser Marcus
Public health officials have been working for months to understand whether the XMRV virus poses a risk to the nation’s blood supply. The concern was sparked by a paper published last year in Science that detected the virus in the blood of 67% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients, compared to just 3.7% of healthy controls.
(Other research has contradicted that finding, and as Health Blog readers know, the scientific controversy is still swirling — at this point, no one knows whether XMRV causes CFS or any other disease — including prostate cancer, to which it has also been linked — or whether the virus or any disease it’s tied to is transmissible through blood infusions. Read this for the latest.)
But based on even the possibility of these connections, and thus a potential threat to the blood supply, the NIH funded a working group that includes the FDA, CDC, blood banks, academic institutions and a patient advocacy organization. (The group includes, it’s worth mentioning, the government scientists whose findings appear to conflict.) The Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group is charged with investigating, among other things, the best ways to test for the virus and its prevalence among blood donors.
And at a meeting scheduled for today, members of the FDA’s Blood Products Advisory Committee are slated to hear an informational presentation on XMRV that will include results from the first phase of the working group’s scientific investigation.
In this phase, six labs — two from FDA plus labs at the NCI, the CDC, the Blood Systems Research Institute and the Whittemore-Peterson Institute — used a panel of blood samples spiked with different amounts of XMRV to establish if the labs’ tests are sensitive and reliable enough to detect the virus in blood. They are. All the labs were able to detect at least some amount of XMRV. (Some of the labs have been involved in the dueling research on a link between the virus and CFS.)
The presentation — which the Health Blog previewed ahead of the meeting — suggests that the first phase of the study has some limits. As researchers continue to study XMRV, there is a growing sense that virus taken from patients may be different than the virus the labs studied. That’s why, researchers say, it’s important to start looking at what’s going on in actual people.
That will happen in future phases of the working group’s investigation. In a pilot study of the second phase, WPI collected blood from four CFS patients they had found to be XMRV-positive and sent the samples to CDC and NCI for testing. Results are expected soon. In the third phase, WPI will collect 25 samples from XMRV-positive CFS patients and send them — as well as XMRV-negative samples from healthy people — to all the other labs for testing.
Phase four will analyze blood from 300 blood donors, 25 confirmed XMRV-positive patients, and 30 XMRV-negative samples from 10 independent blood donors. This data will finally get researchers a little closer to answering at least one of the key questions in the still-unfolding drama: Is XMRV widespread in the nation’s blood supply?
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