Hope for Antiretroviral Drugs Against XMRV

“It’s a brave new world for ME/CFS”                                                Dr. Paul Cheney, M.D.

As I mentioned in my February 20 post, the discovery of a new retrovirus brings renewed hope for ME/CFS sufferers. This retrovirus, named XMRV, was found in many ME/CFS patients. Not only is XMRV linked to ME/CFS but also to prostate cancer also found in 3.7% of healthy controls- the general population.

In an interview with Nevada Newsmakers discussing the findings of a 2009 study published in Science, Dr. Judy Mikovits, a molecular biologist and virologist, and Annette Whittemore, founder and president of Whittemore Peterson Institute and mother of a ME/CFS patient, state that XMRV is a simple retrovirus, simpler than HIV.
It is a slow replicating virus, and this means that it will be easier to find an antiretroviral drug for XMRV than it was for HIV.

In another interview Dr. Robert Silverman, a co-author of the Science paper, says “if it is proven that XMRV causes ME/CFS it could lead to a breakthrough for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this devastating disease.”

All this probably does not mean an effective antiretroviral drug against XMRV will be found in the very near future, but hallelujah, there is hope!

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