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Cancer Drug May Also Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Rituximab Reduced Fatigue in 67% of Patients in Study

More Research Needed

Despite the positive results of the study, researchers stressed that it was far too early for people with chronic fatigue to seek treatment with rituximab.

“For the time being, this is a clinical trial. It is not for routine use. We need at least one more large study, partly here and partly somewhere else, to confirm the results,” Mella says.

Rituximab is expensive. A single course of treatment for cancer can cost more than $20,000. Rarely, fatal reactions have been reported after infusions of the drug, although no significant adverse events were reported in the current study.

“The most exciting news from the study is the possibility of disease-modifying treatment for at least some people with CFS,” Kim McCleary, president and chief executive officer of the CFIDS Association of America, says in an email. “This study also provides support for other possible approaches to repair immune abnormalities that have been identified in CFS patients.”

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