Possible viral link to prostate cancer

September 8, 2009 US researchers found a type of virus known to cause leukemia and tumors in animals occurred in more than a quarter of the malignant prostate cancers which they examined.

The virus is known as a retrovirus called XMRV.

The study is published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If further research proves that this virus leads to prostate cancer, doctors hope to create new diagnostic tests and vaccines.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the US and is expected to affect about 200,000 men this year.

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