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February 28, 2006

'Virus Chip' Detects New Virus In Prostate Tumors

Topics: Medicine

prostate virus.bmp In a study of 150 men, the researchers identified the virus, called XMRV, and determined that it is 25 times more likely to be found in prostate cancer patients with a specific genetic mutation than men without the mutation.

UCSF and Cleveland Clinic scientists have discovered a new virus in human prostate tumors, a virus that has never been seen in humans before now. The type of virus, closely related to viruses typically found in mice, has never been detected in humans. The virus was probably originally acquired from another species; it is known as a xenotropic retrovirus - in this case, a xenotropic murine-like retrovirus, or XMRV.

Scientists say that the virus's link to human disease is still unclear, and more study is needed to determine the relationship between the virus and cancer, if any. The finding is consistent with previous epidemiologic and genetic research that has suggested that prostate cancer may result from chronic inflammation, perhaps as a response to infection." Read more...

Comment: XMRV could be sexually transmitted, and It's possible that infection leads to chronic inflammation of the prostate leading ultimately to cancer - analogous to the way human papillomavirus (HPV) can trigger cervical cancer.

Posted by Richard at February 28, 2006 9:56 PM

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