Rumors about the Lipkin study are flying fast and furious these days. We’ve been hearing for months that the study results would be made public this year, but “news” of specific dates has kicked things into a frenzy.
In April, a rumor circulated that the results would be published on April 30. Dr. Mikovits was quoted as clarifying that her own part of the study would be done by April 30th, and Dr. Lipkin said something similar.
On June 1, Dr. Dan Peterson spoke at the Invest in ME conference in London. He told the audience that the Lipkin study would be published on June 30th. This statement was repeated on Twitter by journalist Jorgen Jelstad (@DeBortgjemte), kicking up much excitement. The good thing about that, though, was that Lipkin’s lab (@CII722) was able to respond directly. On June 4th,
Lipkin* the CII tweeted:
The XMRV study will NOT be published on June 30. Rumors associated with this release date are false.
We have begun composing the manuscript/compiling the data. Follow @CII722 for updates. Cheers!
In response to a direct question about why the date had been pushed back,
Lipkin the CII tweeted: “June 30th was an estimated date. It was never definitive.”
Just eleven days later, the rumor kicked up again. Science Insider, in an article about the dropping of criminal charges against Dr. Mikovits, reported that the results “are expected to be revealed in a few weeks.”
@knittahknits: It was reported at the #CFSACmeeting that the XMRV results will be published as a white paper in a few weeks. Can you confirm?
@CII722: Another false rumor. XMRV paper will be peer-reviewed. Will announce on Twitter when it is submitted/accepted/published.
I’m not surprised that these rumors are circulating, nor am I troubled by
Dr. Lipkin’s the CII’s responses. What DOES trouble me is the source of the rumors. Dr. Peterson provided samples for the study. Drs. Lee and Belay are federal employees. I assume that all three were quite confident in the information that they have since they made such public statements about it. They all have to know the effect such statements would have on the community, and none of them are irresponsible rumor mongers.
So who is telling these people that the results will be published in a few weeks?
*Update 12:25pm – The Center for Infection & Immunity contacted me via Twitter after this post was published to clarify:”Hi! 2 corrections. Our Twitter is run by the CII’s science writer, not Dr. Lipkin. More accurate to say “the CII tweeted” & “CII’s response” so I have updated the post accordingly.
**Update 6:14 pm – I emailed Dr. Lee about this and regarding the timing of the results she responded, “I do not know when the XMRV results will be released. I too have heard conflicting information. It will happen when it happens. I must have patience.”