ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Fight Back! Win the War Being Waged Against Your Immune System

10 Fibro-Friendly Foods with a Bonus: Beautiful Skin

The role of microbiota and intestinal permeability in the pathophysiology of autoimmune and neuroimm...

Studies Show that Magnesium L-threonate Improves Brain Plasticity, Leading to Direct and Significant...

Clary Sage Oil May Be Pricey, but Its Benefits Are Priceless

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

Poly MVA: A Novel Therapy for Increasing Energy, Repairing DNA, and Promoting Overall Health

Acupressure reduced fatigue in breast cancer survivors

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

What’s Fenugreek Good For?

Print Page
Email Article

For Those Wondering About Progress on Rituximab Trials for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  [ 26 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 29, 2012

[Note: the following statement was translated from the Norwegian on Mar 16 by Ellen V. Piro and Eva Stormorken, Norwegian ME Association. The translation has been approved by Professor Olav Mella, is published with his permission, and has been shared broadly via Invest in ME and Co-Cure Listserv. We know that: researchers collaborating with the Cedars-Sinai Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center have planned to take part in Rituximab research, and Dr. Kogelnik’s new Open Medicine Institute is running a pilot rituximab trial via its ME/CFS physician research network.]


What is Happening with the Research into ME and Rituximab?

By Anette Gilje, Secretary General, Norwegian ME Association

The cancer doctors Oystein Fluge and Olav Mella, Haukeland University Hospital, published their study on ME and rituximab last autumn.

Following their sensational and promising findings that some people with ME had benefited from the immune modulator rituximab, the Government allocated two million Norwegian Kroners (approx. 220,000 pounds or $351,370) to the Western Norway Regional Health Authority to help fund a larger follow-up study.

• This is far from enough to fund a larger, double-blinded multi-center study which is necessary to determine the scientific research question: 'Does rituximab have an effect on this patient group, or not?' says Professor Mella.

• We do believe it has, but this has to be confirmed in a larger study to gain scientific credibility internationally.

• To be reasonably certain to answer the question, the study probably has to include between 120 and 140 carefully selected patients that meet the Canadian Consensus criteria.

The patient-sample will be divided into two groups, one of which will receive active treatment with rituximab, the other placebo (i.e., inactive substance). Both groups will be closely observed for potential effects and adverse reactions.

Providing the study can confirm a significant effect in the group that was given rituximab and the adverse reactions are acceptable, the placebo group will be offered treatment with rituximab at a later point of time.

A scientific study of this scale cannot be initiated before the whole project is fully funded.

So far Drs. Fluge and Mella are working to a draft protocol for a larger study in cooperation with the Oslo University Hospital (Aker).

When the preliminary protocol is completed, it is time to establish collaborations with other research communities that want to take part in the study.

After that, the research protocol will be submitted to the Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics and the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

Professor Mella says:

• It is extremely important that the research centers included in the study are dedicated to the task.

• They need people who are very good at diagnostics and that can administer the rituximab treatment in a safe manner for the patients.

• If you can’t accommodate this, it’s probably better for the study to be carried out in fewer institutions.

Adverse Reactions

Rituximab is known to have some serious, but very rare adverse reactions.

• Our experiences in working with cancer patients show that this is a drug that does not trigger a lot of adverse reactions, Mella says.

• What you do, is to deplete the B-cell lymphocytes which are normally responsible for production of antibodies. Because this is done only for a limited period of time, many of the mature B-cells are still circulating in the blood stream.

• The increase in infections in most patients receiving this treatment is small. There is, however, a theoretical risk for serious infections. That is why it is necessary to be alert when looking for emerging signs of infection.

Dr Mella explains that rituximab is a protein substance that is partly produced from human material and partly from mouse material.

• The tendency for allergic reactions is increased compared with some other drugs.

• That is why it is important that the patients receive the drug under observation, preferably at a rheumatological-, neurological- or a cancer ward.

If you are used to administer[ing] rituximab and know what to do if allergic reactions occur, we see this as an easy treatment, Dr. Mella reassures.

• The patients must be under observation for some hours when they receive the treatment in the ward, and they are admitted for 24 hours to make it possible to deal with potential adverse reactions.

• It is important to stress that we do not know if ME patients may have more or other side effects compared to patients with cancer or rheumatological diseases.


Drs. Fluge and Mella have worked for almost three years in their search for biomarkers for ME, thanks to the funding from Western Norway Regional Health Authority.

In their search, biological samples from the study participants are investigated in the laboratory. The patients’ clinical picture is the researchers’ starting point in their search for biomarkers. From there they can reflect where the problem might be located and search for abnormalities.

Dr. Mella admits that there is always a need for money for research; more can be done and things can move forward a little quicker.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function

Natural Remedies

Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth
Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin Caused by Fibromyalgia Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin Caused by Fibromyalgia
Front Line Defense Against Colds & Flu - Support for Healthy Immune System Balance Front Line Defense Against Colds & Flu - Support for Healthy Immune System Balance
The Big Blue Fish that Helps Chase the Blues Away The Big Blue Fish that Helps Chase the Blues Away
When a Negative is Positive - Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear When a Negative is Positive - Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map