Blog article: Offers private ME treatment with cancer drugs – scientists react, by Anne Grete Storvik, Nov 23 2015 in Dagensmedicin [ translated by Google translate]
A private clinic in Sandnes offers treatment for ME with the cancer drug rituximab. Patients pay up to 200,000 kroner.
In 2011 cancer doctors Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella published the first results of a randomized study that demonstrated the efficacy of the cancer drug rituximab in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome CFS/ME.
20 to 30 patients
Research is still on this at Haukeland, and medicine’s effect on chronic fatigue syndrome is not clear. But oncologist and professor of medicine, Dagfinn Øgreid at Kolibri Medical AS in Sandnes, give this treatment in Sandnes.
By private clinic has between 20 and 30 patients received treatment, and paid up to 200,000 kroner, according Øgreid.
We have treated with rituximab in a few months. We believe the data published are good, and so impressive that it is hard not to give this treatment in a proper frame. I guess we have helped someone who instead of going to the USA and pay millions, have received similar treatment with us, says Øgreid Dagens Medicine.
Øgreid says he follows approach to research in progress at Haukeland.
We relate to protocol at Haukeland. The study is very clearly defined, and we can detect both effect and side effect as usual, he said.
Did not know anything about this
Cancer Physician and researcher at Haukeland, Øystein Fluge, one of the researchers behind the treatment method, says to Dagens Medicine that he only recently heard about the services provided by Kolibiri Medical.
Øgreid has not been in contact with us and we did not know anything about this offer until about a month ago. We believe that patients should not receive this treatment outside clinical trials, says Fluge Dagens Medicine.
As it says in our last article then this is no established medical truth. It’s too early. A randomized study will clarify further whether this has anything to offer, says Fluge.
Øgreid specifies that there are strict criteria for getting treatment at him:
We are strict on criteria. Patients must have a diagnosis of ME, and have paper from a public reputable hospital or specialist at all to be concerned.
Patients pay about 200,000 for treatment. What do you think about the price?
There is a high price, but overall is 85 percent of the cost of drug cost. We charge for monitoring and medical consultation. I think the public ought to offer this treatment, says Øgreid.
According Øgreid is two to three patients become completely healthy so far. Fluge and Mella works based on the following hypothesis:
ME / CFS in a sub-group of patients could be a variant of an autoimmune disease. The pattern of response and relapse after rituximab-intervention matches the response courses at other recognized autoimmune diseases. ME / CFS is often triggered by infections, it is clear predominance of women, and there seems to be a genetic predisposition.