Mounting evidence suggests that prostate cancer is an infectious disease caused by a recently identified virus. The linkurl:latest report,; published today (September 7) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found the virus was associated especially with aggressive prostate cancers and noted that "all individuals may be at risk" for infection. [www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0906922106] The notion that prostate cancer is an infectious disease like cervical cancer would not surprise most cancer experts, said linkurl:Ila Singh; of the University of Utah, the study's senior author. Almost 20% of visceral cancers are now proven infectious diseases, and there is lots of indirect evidence from epidemiology and genetics that prostate cancer may be one of them. The suspect is xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus (XMRV), a gammaretrovirus similar to viruses known to cause cancer in animals. Researchers at Columbia University and the University of Utah found the virus in more than a quarter...

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