“Left Out”: An ME/CFS Movie Of Commitment, Hope And Despair

Fluge and Mella


By Cort Johnson in Health Rising.


It was a project birthed in hope. Pal Schaathun, a Norwegian filmmaker would document what he hoped might be the end of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  That, unfortunately, turned out not to be but Schaathun ended up documenting – in strikingly beautiful fashion – the next best thing. He managed to vividly portray the needs, hopes and desires of a community desperately yearning for health as it embarked on its first real shot for success.


Schaathun followed a Norwegian oncologist, Oystein Fluge as Fluge and his colleague, Olav Mella, embarked on a major clinical trial. The two doctors found, to their surprise, that a chemotherapeutic and autoimmune drug called Rituximab had produced duo remissions for a few ME/CFS patients with cancer.

As several positive preliminary trials rolled out, the small ME/CFS research community jumped into action as well, producing 11 studies focused on Rituximab or the part of the immune system it was believed to be impacting.


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