Chronic fatigue syndrome eased by cancer drug

Dr Richard Fuller from the Dove Clinic commented on a New Scientist article relating to trials with Rituximab. This is interesting research. It states that some people who underwent treatment for cancer using a monoclonal antibody that blocks CD20 on B cells of the immune system (usually used for lymphoma) could benefit from improved symptoms of underlying chronic fatigue syndrome. The same treatment has also been shown to benefit some people with auto-immune disease.  At this stage more work is needed to define why this works. It has long been held that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome relates to a change in immune function which may have knock on effects on the body. If the mechanism can be more clearly defined then approaches that resolve the trigger for the immune response may be discovered rather than relying on medical strategies to suppress immune function, as these inherently cause other health problems.

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