Further comments from Dr. Snyderman

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

Did you like this? Share it:

7 thoughts on “Further comments from Dr. Snyderman

  1. >It's so good to hear voices of reason in this struggle. I appreciate Dr. Snyderman more each time he writes. Thank you for posting, Jamie.

  2. >Dr. Snyderman, I agree with you. I was simply reporting the controversy as history. References to a human counterpart of MMTV are also familiar. Other work in the same period suggested retroviral activity in SLE and MS, even though an infectious agent was not clearly identified. I would not be surprised to find unknown beta, gamma and delta retroviruses in human populations.

    The advent of PCR seems to have swept these away. Anomalies were not explained, they were ignored. It was so much easier, and occupationally safer, to investigate things which gave more consistent results. People who can't tolerate uncertainty, or take a chance of being wrong, do not belong in cutting-edge research.

    Virologists have a saying "mice lie, monkeys exaggerate". The reason is not voiced, it is simply presented as the result of long experience.

    My own interpretation is that the fundamental factor is the lifespan of the host animal. Mice reach reproductive age in weeks or months, larger domestic animals in a few years. There simply aren't any convenient animal models for disease in which reproduction first appears as late as in humans. To persist, the virus must infect other individuals before the current host dies.

    Considering the life-long nature of retroviral infection, and the value to the virus of vertical transmission, as seen in many animal models, it seems obvious the pace of replication in a well-adapted human pathogen should be much, much slower. This also implies it must do a better job of evading immune response.

    This reasoning seems to be unusual.


  3. >Dr. Snyderman,

    My God! I had no idea that MLVs have been found in human cancer since the 70s! Thank you for giving us your take on this. We need more experts like you to speak to the ME patient community to give us unbiased expert opinions. We also desperately need experts to speak out to the media about the bias and abuse in ME science! The past 27 years tells us they will not listen to patients and our main "advocacy" group, CAA, has often spoken AGAINST us. Please encourage all your colleagues to speak the truth to the media. Thank you so much!

    I am so glad your biomarkers have gotten somewhat better. Hope your health is too.


  4. >The core reason that there IS a "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" is that Dr Cheney and Dr Peterson tried to diagnose their "Mystery Illness" patients with CEBV Syndrome, but could not.
    The clincher was that they presented a few patients to the CDC who had the Mystery Illness but no EBV at all.
    So the primary conceptual framework underlying "CFS" is an illness in which EBV is not necessary, inherent, or even present.

    Whatever EBV does or does not do, in terms of "CFS" causality, EBV must be considered to be a secondary or comorbid pathogen.

  5. >We need more experts like you to speak to the ME patient community to give us unbiased expert opinions. We also desperately need experts to speak out to the media about the bias and abuse in ME science!
    Cliff Merchant MD

Comments are closed.