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Newly Identified Virus May Cause Prostate Cancer

Chlamydia Vaccine May Be Possible

STD Diagnosis in UK Up 62%

NEWLY IDENTIFIED VIRUS MAY CAUSE PROSTATE CANCER. A newly identified virus tentatively called XMRV could be associated with the development of prostate cancer in men genetically predisposed to the condition, researchers reported last Friday at the 2006 Prostate Cancer Symposium held in San Francisco.

Researchers theorize that XMRV may lead to chronic inflammation of the prostate leading to cancer. The new virus may be sexually transmitted, joining the ranks of cancer-causing sexually-transmitted diseases, like human papillomavirus (HPV) which can trigger cervical cancer. 

Researchers hypothesize that if XMRV does cause prostate cancer, then it could potentially be used as a vaccine against the condition. [Reuters Health, “Virus May Cause Prostate Cancer, Study Hints,” 02/24/06,; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 03/01/06]

RESEARCHERS CLOSER TO A CHLAMYDIA VACCINE? [researchers Harlan Caldwell and Deborah Crane] In a study released last month, Caldwell and Crane reported that antibodies to one protein may prevent infection by all 15 strains of Chlamydia.

Thus far, study on the protein has been performed in test tubes with success. Now researchers plan to move to animal testing to see if the theory holds true. The side-effects of Chlamydia can be quite serious, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women. The bacteria can also can blindness. Currently, the bacteria that causes Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. [Reuters, “Researchers See Hope for Sex Disease Vaccine,” 2Mar06,; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 8March06]

STD DIAGNOSES IN UK UP 62%. STD diagnoses in the United Kingdom are up 62 percent from just 10 years ago [new report, Britain’s Health Protection Agency].

According to Professor Peter Borriello [Dir, Health Protection Agency’s Center for Infections] favorable attitudes towards casual sex are to blame.

Chlamydia diagnoses have risen 9% in the past year, but some health authorities suspect that the actual figure could be as much as 6 times higher than currently assessed.

Syphilis numbers have risen 37% since 2003. Health officials are also greatly concerned about an estimated 20,000 people who have HIV, but are unaware of their condition.

[Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 14Dec05]