Gearing Up for the Big Search for XMRV - Health Blog - WSJ
Lipkin tells the Health Blog that the study focuses on whether XMRV or other viruses in the same family are found in higher frequency in patients with CFS.
As a starting point, everyone had to agree on how to define a CFS patient for the purposes of the study. The issue has been highly contentious and Lipkin says they tried to agree to criteria for patient selection that “includes everyone’s viewpoints.”
The solution: the study will seek to enroll people who in addition to meeting criteria for two widely used, symptom-based definitions of CFS, showed signs of infection — such as a sore throat or tender lymph nodes — around the time they developed CFS. The thought is that if there is a viral link to CFS, it’s most likely to show up in those patients.
More work still needs to be done. The physicians participating in the study will meet with Lipkin in coming weeks to develop a standard checklist for evaluating patients. The scientists are still working out a common protocol for how they handle and process the blood. But Lipkin tells the Health Blog that everything they are doing is designed to make it possible to finally end the debate over whether XMRV is associated with CFS