Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Research Update from Norway

Cort Johnson of Health Rising has posted an excellent summary and update of some exciting ME/CFS research going on in Norway by the researchers Fluge and Mella, who became known for their ground-breaking studies on Rituximab as a treatment for ME/CFS.

Here are the topics Cort reports on in this very informative and interesting update about Fluge and Mella's latest work:
  • The recent Metabolics study that made headlines is not the first study to look at metabolism in ME/CFS; it is an area that has been studied by many researchers. Fluge and Mella are doing their own studies, focusing on the role of lactic acid in ME/CFS patients.
  • The Phase III trial of Rituximab as a treatment for ME/CFS in Norway continues, with final conclusions due by late 2017 or early 2018. As in previous studies, some patients are responding well to the treatment. If this study is successful, the US will need to do its own studies to get official FDA approval for using Rituximab for ME/CFS (it is already available in the US and can be used off-label for ME/CFS, but it is very expensive).
  • Fluge and Mella are following up with some patients who did not respond to Rituximab and trying alternative drugs, including another cancer immunotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide. Early reports are that is does work for some patients.
  • Fluge and Mella are also looking at the blood of ME/CFS patients, with some fascinating observations. Some of their studies have found low nitric oxide (NO) levels in patients' blood, and they have tested some drugs that increase NO in ME/CFS patients with good results.
That's just a quick overview - Cort's update provides much more detail (but still in an easy-to-understand approach), so I encourage you to click through to his post and read it.

Bottom line is a lot of exciting research on ME/CFS that could lead directly to treatments in the near future...and these two Norwegian scientists alone are having a huge impact and also inspiring other researchers!

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