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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friends are freaking out and sending me this article (pasted below) linking goats with a form of lung cancer. You might start hearing some stuff about it too from well meaning friends or family.

I have a couple of questions and issues about the study. The fact that they repeat that its a sheep virus, but then link it to goats specifically seems a little odd, but one mention of it might imply that its already linked to working with sheep? Then they say it was "professional" exposure with goats, whatever that means, maybe enclosed & overcrowded conditions?

Anyway, have any of you seen or heard of this?

Here's the link, the whole text is pasted below since I dislike going to external links sometimes.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/elf-gci092211.php

All the best,
Lacia Lynne

Public release date: 24-Sep-2011
Contact: Lauren Anderson
[email protected]
31-610-860-810
European Lung Foundation

Goats could increase the risk of a rare lung cancer
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Exposure to goats could increase the risk of a certain type of lung cancer, according to French researchers.

The study, which will be presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam today (25 September 2011), has linked a professional exposure to goats with a distinct subset of lung cancer, known as pneumonic-type lung adenocarcinoma (P-ADC).

This form of lung cancer has a weak association with tobacco smoking when compared with other types of the disease. In attempting to identify other triggers that may cause the disease, scientists have previously noticed similarities between P-ADC and a viral infection which causes growths in the lungs of sheep. Given these similarities, the researchers have investigated whether a viral agent found in sheep and goats could be easily transferred to people who work with the animals, leading to a partiality for P-ADC.

The current epidemiologic study involved 44 patients with P-ADC and 132 controls without the disease. All participants were given a questionnaire assessing a number of risk factors including their smoking status, their personal history of cancer and their exposure to goats.

The results showed that people who had experienced a professional exposure to goats during their lifetime were five times more likely to get P-ADC compared with other types of lung cancer.

The findings also showed that P-ADC was significantly associated with females, and people who had never smoked or had any personal history of cancer.

Dr Nicolas Girard, from the Louis Pradel Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, said: "Scientists have noticed similarities between P-ADC and a contagious viral infection in sheep before. This led us to explore the possibility that professional exposure to cattle could make humans more susceptible to P-ADC. These findings demonstrate that exposure to goats could be a risk factor for this type of lung cancer, however further studies are needed to assess other potential risk factors for the disease."
 

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The study linked lung cancer in humans and the P-ADC agent in sheep/goats through similarity and therefore correlation, this study was statistically manipulated as most are, to meet the hypothesis of some scientist's thoughts. Further the patients were surveyed which also led to crunching numbers and manipulation. Before they go any further and cause mass pandemonium like they did a decade ago w/ Hoof & Mouth disease they need to find the root cause of it in sheep and we all know that isn't going to happen. Why are the sheep/goats getting this is the question?
 

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Exactly Bernice! After the whole "Cosmo's left lung is gone incident" it has opened up a whole range of questions and the biggest one is "How are they getting this?".
I honestly do not have any answers but I sure can speculate!

Feed
Environmental factors (tobacco or tobacco smoke around animals not being rulled out)
Meds-those used to boost immunity in general

There is a whole facet of things that could increase the risk factor of animals having or becoming resistant to lung issues, cancer being one of them, that manipulated research will never be able to narrow down to the answer. JMHO
Tam
 

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Sounds to me that that study indeed is totally random and undependable. If not........well, at least I'll die happy (would go crazy without my goats) ;)
 

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Sample size with the disease was 44? That seems AWFULLY small. I mean, I realize it's an unusual cancer and so on, but still... there could well be some other factor at work. I wonder how the study was designed.

You know, I post on another forum where scientists and vets and doctors and so on post, I'm going to ask there about this study.

It's always a good idea to check the background of a study, because sometimes it was performed by someone with an agenda. However the very cool thing about science is that the truth will out, eventually; if these results are not repeatable, they will be thrown out, because science continually adjusts as new information is learned. If they ARE repeatable, then of course we have learned something valuable, but in the meantime, it's wise to be cautious.
 

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Well if they think they can make a viral connection then it is immune function and they could develop a vaccine but who cares about a few sheep herders who get lung cancer- bound to be a tiny percent of the general population. Certainly not enough for big pharma to get involved with research dollars.
It is well known that you must publish if you plan to keep your job regardless of the relevance to the real world or any future applicability. Reams of work lie moldering with no further interest once the publishing requirements are met. I would wager this European Lung Foundation is just doing duty for their funding maintenance. Foundations are normally privately funded and attach requirements to the funding.
Lee
 

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And on a lighter note I wager we can all guess what is really wrong with their lungs at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam :rofl
 

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buckrun said:
And on a lighter note I wager we can all guess what is really wrong with their lungs at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam :rofl
Oh, good one, Lee! You are on top of your game today, eh?! :biggrin
 

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Now, now don't be dissing Amsterdam, it was the French researchers who came up with this 'scientific result'! People in Amsterdam have fantastic lungs, since the Dutch ALWAYS have an opinion about everything and they tend to continuously voice it: now that's a work-out for your lungs!! : )
 

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I can understand maybe a respiratory problem caused by hay dust and mold (Farmers lung) that sort of morphs into a cancer, but freaking out everyone because a sheep has a virus that might turn into cancer AND spread to humans??? Be real.
 

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OK, as promised, I posted this on another forum. I have now heard from a vet who is a pathologist in Scotland. She is sort of like a state vet, who does all the necropsies and knows what caused death, or what sort of poison, virus, bacteria etc. is responsible. She told me that she knows someone who is an international authority on the virus implicated in the article (Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus or JSVR, or sometimes JSR) and when she has talked to this person and gotten their input she will get back to me.

In the meantime she gave me permission to summarize what she's already told me.

First of all, JSVR is not at ALL common in goats... in fact she is having a hard time tracking down ANY credible evidence of it being in goats. There are some old references that say it was JSVR in a goat, but they never did any exams to find out whether this were true or not; they were just guessing. It is *possible*, but just does not seem to be at all common.

Second, she told me that if this were a concern as far as jumping to humans, it would be SHEEP that would be studied. She said it would actually be a huge deal and everyone would make a gigantic fuss, because shepherds and vets are exposed to as she said "bucket loads of the stuff".

She told me that although it is POSSIBLE that someone has found some sort of link between goats and lung cancer, "jumping to the conclusion that JSR is the link, is simply perverse".

Here are what she termed useful links:

http://www.knowledgescotland.org/briefings.php?id=113
http://www.moredun.ac.uk/research/re...y-diseases/opa
http://www.moredun.org.uk/webfm_send/173

Some of these are from her colleague who is a recognized world authority on this virus. Sorry, you will have to cut and paste the links as I could not get the URL tags to behave for some reason.

I hope this helps, and when she gets back to me I'll update this with the further information. In the meantime, keep your goats! :)
 

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I saw the article too. It seemed bogus to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
swgoats said:
There are just so many people working with goats... :/ And then so many with lung cancer. It is easy to see how you would get a statistically significant sample... :nooo
Like the report that said bread causes criminality cuz 100% of the jail inmates ate bread? :rofl
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Horsehair Braider said:
OK, as promised, I posted this on another forum. I have now heard from a vet who is a pathologist in Scotland...
Second, she told me that if this were a concern as far as jumping to humans, it would be SHEEP that would be studied...
when she gets back to me I'll update this with the further information. In the meantime, keep your goats! :)
Thanks Jacquee!

That was my first reaction too... if this is a sheep virus, why are they looking at goats?

So let's all go hug our goats and breathe deeply of their wonderfulness...
 

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Right! I now have further information and wanted to share it with you.

I'll start with the conclusion. To quote the vet in Scotland:
I think it's bunkum. If I were refereeing the paper, I'd bounce it on the unsupportable assumption that the virus they are referring to is present in all goat herds.
You can not make unsupportable assumptions in science; if you do, everyone else will immediately point this out to you and you will look remarkably silly. And now of course this has been brought to the attention of someone who is a world authority!

From the world authority:
In the past both our group and others have looked hard for any evidence of JSRV (the virus that causes OPA) in human bronchioalveolar carcinoma (BAC) which is the type of lung cancer that looks like OPA - (it appears to have been given a different name, P-ADC, in this report). There is an antibody which we raised against a component of the virus that cross-reacts with some human BAC samples, but we could not find any evidence of JSRV nucleic acid in any human case, or even of any related virus. The other group who have published looked only for JSRV by PCR/RT-PCR and found nothing.

Further, the disease OPA is very rare in goats (in fact I've only ever seen reports of it in experimental infections of young kids with JSRV). However, JSRV has been reported to be present in goats with enzootic nasal tumour which is caused by a related but distinct virus called ENTV. The fluid produced from ENT contains ENTV and not JSRV (we have looked at quite a few samples for this).

On the other hand, sheep with OPA often produce copious amounts of JSRV in the lung fluid produced by the tumour, but there is no evidence of an increased prevalence of lung tumours in people regularly handling OPA-affected sheep.
In other words, someone already looked for this in human beings and found nothing.

And then the vet I had been corresponding with said,
I really wish people would follow their theories up with people who know about stuff before going public with their "wild theories". I'm now going to sit back and let the people who actually know about OPA and JSR deal with these guys.
That's one of the really cool things about science. It is self-correcting. Now that the people who DO actually know about OPA and JSR realize that paper was published, they will certainly deal with these guys. In the meantime I'd just go ahead and forward BACK to all these people who forwarded this to you, that this press release is just the tiniest bit full off... are we allowed to say the BS word here? :biggrin
 
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