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These MLV, or "murine leukemia-related viruses," are known to cause some cancers in mice, and the XMRV relative has been found in some human prostate tumors, too.
But there's no easy way to test for it, meaning studies of a link at this point must be in research labs, not doctors' offices, FDA and NIH researchers said Monday.
No one knows how people become infected, but Alter said a major study is under way to see if there's any evidence of transmission through blood.
In the meantime, federal regulations require that blood donors be in good health, said FDA's Dr. Hira Nakhasi.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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