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XMRV retrovirus may be inhibited by drugs used against HIV

2 April 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

XMRV RetrovirusXMRV, a retrovirus linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, may be inhibited by drugs used against HIV, according to researchers at Emory University and the University of Utah. XMRV was discovered in 2006 and has been detected in a majority of chronic fatigue syndrome patients as well as in some tumor biopsies from prostate cancer patients.

“Not all studies that have looked for XMRV have been able to detect it in prostate cancers or in samples from chronic fatigue syndrome,” says Ila Singh, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “We will need to see the results of clinical trials before these drugs can be used in a clinical setting.”

Raltegravir, sold under the name Isentress and approved for all HIV infected persons in 2009, is the most potent drug against XMRV. Other drugs who also inhibit XMRV replication are an integrase inhibitor, AZT and tenofovir DF.

“Our study showed that these drugs inhibited XMRV at lower concentrations when two of them were used together, suggesting that highly potent ‘cocktail’ therapies might inhibit the virus from replicating and spreading,” said Raymond Schinazi. PhD. “This combination of therapies might also have the added benefit of delaying or even preventing the virus from mutating into forms that are drug-resistant.”

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