On Thursday, July 15, the CFIDS Association sponsored a webinar on the XMRV retrovirus and its possible connection with ME/CFS - featuring Columbia University immunologist Vincent Racaniello, PhD, Dr. Lucinda Bateman, MD, and CFIDS Assoc. science director Suzanne Vernon, PhD. (You'll find the recording and slide presentation at www.cfids.org/webinar/series2010-past.asp#10.)
Reflecting this issue’s current high visibility, the Wall Street Journal “XMRV-tracker” Amy Dockser Marcus quickly published an article on the webinar - “Potential XMRV-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Link Not Easy to Tease Out.”
Dockser Marcus noted, for example:
• Dr. Racaniello suggests that “to really get answers” a large study involving 500 to 1,000 people is needed. It should be funded by the federal government, conducted at several research sites, include fresh blood samples of patients who can provide detailed medical and case histories, use a single, uniform case definition of ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” and employ the same lab methods.
• Dr. Bateman emphasized the great need for consistent criteria for diagnosing ME/CFS, and the importance of research funding to accomplish the kind of research Dr. Rancaniello envisions.
To read Cort Johnson's excellent July 16 summary of important information & views that Rancaniello and Batemen shared during the webinar, go to "the XMRV Buzz" at www.aboutmecfs.org/Rsrch/XMRV/Buzz.aspx
Other high profile XMRV coverage this week included…
A New York Times article by David Tuller on Wednesday, July 14 – “Delay in Release of Study on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Prompts an Outcry.”
(Thanks to the many readers who have posted comments on past WSJ & other articles, both titles refer to “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” rather than “Chronic Fatigue.” Comments and expressions of thanks signal reader interest, the media's lifeblood.)