19 September 2010

Q&A from the First International XMRV Conference

On the 07 and 08 of September 2010, the first international XMRV conference took place at the National Institutes of Health.  Watching the conference Q&A videos (listed below), and reading the transcripts, one can feel the almost combatative tensions between the scientists who had identified a correlation between ME/CFS and XMRV, and those who argue that this potential link could be explained by murine contamination of the equipment used in the respective experiments.
The Q&A was moderated by Dr Jonathan Stoye, Virologist, whom didn't appear to have a great deal of control over the conference proceedings. Dr Stoyle did, however, verify Kirsten White's (Gilead Sciences) comment, which remains somewhat unanswered:

"My question is about the different clades of potentially human pathogenic XMRV’s.  We heard about the X and the P, and I was hoping you could summarize, are there four we’re looking at, are there two, are there three, and what we should call them?'.

Mindy Kitei (of CFS Central) represented patients by asking more practical questions, such as  when drug trials will commence; what drugs are likely candidates; and what sort of timeframe this may occur in.  Mindy went on to challenge Dr Stoye later during the Q&A, suggesting that although it was understood drug trials were premature, scientists were seeking what they want to seek with regard to the absence of XMRV in certian experiements.  Mindy continued, stating it was importat for scientists to 'really see things as they are and not how we want them to be'.  Dr Coffin demonstrated why it was premature to begin drug trials, although it is something to work towards.

There was a tense exchange between Dr Mikovits (Whittemore Petersone Institute) and Dr (Proffessor) McClure (Imperial College in London), with Dr McClure disagreeing outright with Mikovitz, about finding positive samples in the UK.  Dr Mikovitz responded:

"I had at least 50 positives right from the London area and many more besides that using the techniques that we validated in our paper and clinically and that have been used throughout this room.".

Dr McClure stated she was now 'happy' to recieve positive samples, transported via independent phlebotomy services.

For a more indepth discussion from someone who was present at the conference, please visit Mindy Kitei's blog entry XMRV Conference Recap at CFS Central (see links below).

Links:

CFS Central: XMRV Conference Recap

Transcript of Q&A held at the end of the first international XMRV workshop

Youtube videos of Q&A session:
(possibly not in order)

Video one
Video two
Video three
Video four
Video five
Video six
Video seven
Video eight
Video nine

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