Dear Dr. Deckoff-Jones:
I would like to respond to the questions about EBV. Before I had read about retroviruses, I focused on EBV and CLL, because there were a couple or reports of EBV being found in about 25% of CLL patients. Just looking at serology is problematic as almost everyone has had an EBV infection and antibody testing is always positive. My plasma was negative for EBV DNA. A concentrate of my lymphocytes was tested at the Mayo Clinic and was also negative for EBV proteins and nucleic acid sequences.
To anonymous commenter “anciendaze”: The point is that this specific virus (similar only to the Rauscher murine leukemia virus) was found only in malignant cells and not in normal cells. If one reads the articles, one will see that other viruses were looked at but only the Rauscher virus worked in the assays. Conversely, in breast cancer, Spiegelman found evidence of the mouse mammary tumor virus not the Rauscher virus and this work has been confirmed by multiple other labs, including very recently by Pogo and Holland. I have attached this reference (Particles Containing RNA-Instructed DNA Polymerase and Virus-Related RNA in Human Breast Cancers. Axel/Spiegelman).
I too have read the article in which the term “rumor” viruses was first coined. That term speaks to the negativity and timidity that often accompanies a new way of looking at things. One must have an open mind, which is called for by the scientific method and not ignore data; otherwise one is guilty of holding back progress that could help thousands and thousands of patients.
Sol Spiegelman was highly respected and was awarded a Lasker prize for his work with nucleic acids. This is often a prelude to the Nobel prize. Robert Gallo respected his work enough to pursue it. Unfortunately Spiegelman died relatively young and his laboratory closed. Robert Gallo moved on to HIV. Nothing further happened with MLRVs and thirty years was lost until the Cleveland Clinic and WPI published their studies. We, that is we cancer patients, and we CFS patients, lost thirty years and don’t want to lose any more time needlessly. Much work remains and must start now.
Michael Snyderman, MD