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Anti-HIV Drugs Inhibit Emerging Virus Linked to Prostate Cancer and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted Apr 06 2010 2:55pm

Four drugs used to treat HIV infection can inhibit a retrovirus recently linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, researchers at Emory University/Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Utah have shown.

The results were published on April 1, 2010 by the journal PLoS One.

The findings suggest that if XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) is proven to be a cause for prostate cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome, those illnesses may be treatable with drugs already approved for treating HIV.

Discovered in 2006, XMRV has been detected in some prostate cancer patients’ tumor biopsies by several investigators. However, its precise role in driving prostate cancer is unclear. A recent report (from the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Nevada) detected XMRV in a majority of chronic fatigue syndrome patients, but these results have not been confirmed by other laboratories.

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