By Dr. Michael Snyderman, an oncologist with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and ME/CFS:
XMRV has recently been identified in patients with prostatecancer and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS patients have an increased incidence of lymphoproliferative malignancy compared to the normal population.
While the incidence rate of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is 0.02% in the United States, nearly 5% of CFS patients developed the disease.
A patient with CFS and CLL with adverse prognostic factors was shown to have XMRV in plasma and CLL cells. Within the first 100 days of treatment with AZT and raltegravir, he showed multiple benefits simultaneous with disappearance of infectious XMRV.
These findings suggest that XMRV is etiological for both the CLL and CFS and that virus-direct treatment was beneficial in this patient.
Further CLL patients should be studied especially as CLL has been statistically associated with an increased risk for other neoplasia.
Questions to be answered are what neoplasms are associated with XMRV, will existing antiretrovirals have antineoplastic activity in these neoplasms and what is the optimal combination of antiretroviral drugs.