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From Spring 2014 Forum

With new science coming out about CFIDS/ME, we’ve been asked to interpret it in some plain English. What is chromosomal translocations? They are a very common type of genetic rearrangements and are a type of a molecular signature that one finds mainly in the cause of lymphoma and leukemia cancers. It was way back in 1914 when it was first hypothesized by Theodor Boveri that the underlying cause of cancer could be genetic aberrations yet it took decades for the first chromosomal aberration to be discovered in cancer (Norwell, Hungerford, 1961). When the chromosomes translocate, this causes chromosome breakage. Ultimately, this results in the deactivation of cellular proteins including the one that suppresses tumors.

The translocations occur when the chromosomes become fragile. Indeed, the fragility found in the latest study by Dr. Henry Heng, from Wayne State University, points to CFIDS/ME producing the fragile state to allow this to happen and the severity and lengthy duration of the illness has been shown to allow much more of this to happen. It puts the study of cytokines and other biomarkers in the area of comparing the effectiveness of studying one or two raindrops to find out why a flood has occurred and how to block further damage for occurring. While they have discovered specific chromosomes that are being targeted in some areas, the more recent studies have confirmed that ionizing radiation is one of the very few agents that can be responsible for this to occur as well as ruling out other causes that don’t have that capability.

On the Wayne State University’s School of Medicine’s site on the internet, a page that tells about Dr. Henry Heng, in part, “we have linked elevated genome alterations to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients based on 15 patients and 20 controls. We anticipate that this report will be well received by the medical community (manuscript in preparation), as in spite of decades’ of research on this illness, there is still no reliable diagnostic genetic marker for CFS. We believe that genome instability will serve as a clinical marker for CFS.”

It has only been in the most recent years that science has shown chromosomal aberrations are not just associated with cancer but are seen in patients with illnesses leading toward cancer. Now we have to discover how to repair the repairing part of the body that has allowed this to happen and that’s the direction that the NCF is heading via funded research.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 *(781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606