The reputation of ME/CFS research has suffered a pummelling thanks to XMRV. Recently, though, the results of a double-blind placebo-controlled Phase II trial of a drug called Rituximab were published in PLoS (Public Library of Science). The small trial produced incredible results. It couldn’t come at a better moment and it opens a whole new perspective to ME/CFS research.
Apparently, the two Norwegian researchers, Drs. Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella, had presented their findings at the Invest in ME international ME/CFS conference last May in London. The researchers are cancer specialists who came upon an effect of Rituximab accidentally. Those who had seen their presentation in May or had viewed the conference DVD lecture had probably anticipated the excitement surrounding this new discovery.
What all this means is that ME/CFS is going to be investigated as an autoimmune illness now- a legitimate illness. We know that Rituximab has been used effectively in a variety of autoimmune disorders. Could Rituximab’s success mean that ME/CFS is indeed an autoimmune disorder? It is certainly going to open up a completely new branch of investigation of ME/CFS.
The ground-breaking research presented by Drs. Fluge and Mella is certainly very promising. Hopefully, it will spur a lot more research into the physiological aspects of ME/CFS in as many countries as possible.
- To read the paper published by the two Norwegian researchers in PLoS (Public Library of Science) click here.
- In December 2010 Cort Johnson of Phoenix Rising first wrote about the two Norwegian researchers and their amazing work with Rituximab. You can read about it here.
- One of the world’s leading experts on ME/CFS, Dr. David Bell, in a short interview on Norwegian television, says that in the 25 years he’s been in the ME/CFS field, he has never seen such “extraordinary” results. To watch the interview click here .
- To read the October 20 article on NewScientist click here.