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"New good results for Rituximab" Norwegian newspaper says


Senior Member
I have translated an article from the newspaper "Times of Bergen"
The original is here: http://www.serendipitycat.no/wp-con...es-from-bergenstidende-20140513_000_00_00.pdf


Cancer researchers at Haukeland University Hospital are experiencing promising results with a new medicine for ME.

Results confirm what we have found earlier, says Professor and Head of Cancer Department, Olav Mella of Haukeland University Hospital. Yesterday Mella was in Oslo at the International ME Day to receive 1.5 million kroner ($250,000) from the Norwegian ME Association. Together with Senior Consultant Øystein Fluge, Mella is about to summarize a new trial of the cancer drug Rituximab used on ME patients. Previously, two trials have shown that two-thirds of ME patients sees improvement. The drug have been tested in two stages. First, in a small pilot study with only three patients. Then in a group of 30 patients. This time, 29 patients received Rituximab. We see that the improvement lasts considerably longer when patients receive replenishment (3-6-9-15 months). Over the summer Mela and Fluge is planning a double-blind Rituximab study with 152 patients. They are still missing a few million (Norwegian kroner) to finance the study, that will be to conducted at five hospitals around the country. There are some remaining formalities before we have the green light. We start when start when we have the approval from the government (SLV), and hope that the economic aspect arrangei itself along the way, says Mella. Haukeland had over 1,000 inquiries from patients who want to test Rituximab. The other hospitals that will participate in the study also experienced high demand. - Is the 152 patients who applied for the study picked out? - No, we can not pick and assign them before the formalities are in place. But we have organized the requests for patients who meet the criteria for taking part, says Mella. Since this is a double blind test knows neither the patients nor the physicians who gets real medicine and who’s not. The answer of Rituximab does come in about three years. The results can be analyzed two years after the last patient in the study has completed the treatment.

Takes ME research all your time?

- ME research takes some working hours and very much free time.

- You have now worked with ME for several years. Are you convinced that there is a real disease?

- I'm absolutely sure, says Olav Mella.

The Norwegian ME Association is doing what they can to fund the rest of the study that costs more than 20 million (3 MUSD). Mella and Fluge have received six million kroner (1MUSD) from the national budget and ten million (1.6 MUSD) from the Research Council of Norway. ME sufferer Maria Gjerpe, who received successful treatment with Rituximab, collected nearly three million (500k USD). At yesterdays film premiere, the researchers were handed over a check worth 1.5 millions (300k) from the Norwegian ME association. . – All the funds from the fundraising goes entirely to the Rituximab study says director Bjørn K. Getz Wold, a member of the board for the association. Facts Me n CFS / ME is a complex disease with no known the cause. The main problem is long-lasting and sometimes invalidi-reducing fatigue. n For certain products the disease during one year, while others are sick for many years. It estimates that 10.000 to 20.000 people in Norway suffer from the disease. n CFS Star for "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and means "chronic utmattelsessyn-dream." ME star for Myal-gic encephalomyelitis and translates to "myalgic encephalomyelitis". far, a check of 1.5 million from the ME Association. The event yesterday marked the premiere of the film “Perversely Dark” at Victoria cinema in Oslo. The film is documenting the life of two young ME sufferes who spend their life in bed in the dark.
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