Seeking Solutions for ME & Fibromyalgia

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Key Note Speaker: Professor Olav Mella
Head of Department of Oncology Haukeland University Hospital,
University of Bergen, Norway.

Find out how two Norwegian Cancer specialists have come to be at the centre of a major research programme into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and how their research has caused a seismic shift in the way ME/CFS is viewed.

The story starts in 2004 when, together with his colleague Dr. Øystein Fluge (Chief Physician in the Department of Oncology), Professor Mella observed that a patient’s ME/CFS symptoms improved substantially while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a concurrent diagnosis of lymphoma. This observation led the oncologists to carry out some small studies in ME/CFS patients using the B-cell depleting monoclonal antibody, Rituximab and they published peer reviewed articles in 2009 and 2011 with the results.

The positive results of these studies have now led to a large national, randomised, double-blind and placebo controlled multicentre phase III study using Rituximab in patients with ME/CFS. The results are expected early in 2018. A smaller phase II study investigating the effect of treatment with the chemotherapy drug Cyclophosphamide is also in progress.

With their now expanded ME/CFS research team at the oncology department they are presently also looking at other research areas including in: biochemistry, immunology, cell metabolism, genetics, and autoimmunity. Blood vessel endothelial functioning, exercise and gastrointestinal sub-studies are also being carried out. The researchers have even conducted three autopsies of people who suffered from the ME/CFS. The purpose of this research is to identify disease mechanisms and biomarkers for the illness.

So, if you think ME/CFS is just about fatigue and can be treated with exercise, think again!

To find out much more about the Norwegian research, other biomedical research developments in ME/CFS, and the controversy surrounding graded exercise therapy as a recommended treatment, book your place now.


Further reading about the Norwegian research and on the issues surrounding ME/CFS, including published papers and articles available at this link: http://bit.ly/2ovoOVX

Conference Speakers:

Linda Tannenbaum MB. CEO of Open Medicine Foundation (USA) on “Research Hope for ME & Fibromyalgia”

Professor Olav Mella. Bergen University Hospital (Norway) on “Rituximab – Treatment for the future?”

Dr William Weir FRCP, FRCP (Edin) Consultant Physician (UK) “ME & fibromyalgia: History, politics and the need for change”

David Tuller, DrPH (USA) “The UK PACE Trial: An exploration of the 'evidence' for graded exercise therapy for ME”

Dr Christine McMaster, Consultant in the Public Health Agency (NI) “ME & Fibromyalgia Care in Northern Ireland – Recent Developments”

The event will be chaired by our charity patron Jo-Anne Dobson.

'Seeking Solutions for ME and Fibromyalgia' has been approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 3 category 1 (external) CPD credit(s).

More Information:

The event, hosted by Robbie Butler MLA in the prestigious Long Gallery at Stormont, is a unique and unmissable opportunity for healthcare professionals to gain a deeper understanding of myalgic encephalomyelitis and fibromyalgia.

Local charity, Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland, has gathered a strong panel of international experts, who will address the challenges faced by medical professionals in treating these diseases.

Experts from USA, Norway and UK, will explore how existing beliefs on disease aetiology are now being challenged by new evidence, and also expose the significant flaws in evidence currently underpinning NICE guidelines for ME.

This new information should lead to a complete turnaround on the way that ME is treated, and may lead to additional caution being applied to the advice for fibromyalgia.

ME is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a neurological disorder (section G 93.3 of ICD10), and fibromyalgia as a soft tissue disorder (section M 79.7 of ICD10).

As Northern Ireland has an estimated 7,000 ME and 23,000 fibromyalgia patients, this event should be a priority for all those meeting these patients in a professional capacity.

Please book your places early and share the link below with any colleagues who might be interested:


The £35 ticket price will include an extensive information pack and buffet refreshments after the event - to allow for relaxed networking and informal discussions with speakers and other delegates.

Please book early to avoid disappointment.

With Special Thanks to our sponsors:
Irish ME Trust for video recording of the event
Funds to cover our various additional costs were raised by:
James McCullough (age 10) whose mother has very severe ME
Natasha Rooney who has a family member with ME
Jill Freeburn - patient with fibromyalgia and
Dermot McArdle – patient with fibromyalgia
Donations have also been received from:
The Monaghan Family in memory of Ceibhe Monaghan and
The McConkey Family in memory of Eileen McConkey.



Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Please bring your ticket as this will make it easier for those at the door.

Can I share the link to this booking page on Facebook and Twitter?

We would like this event to remain exclusive to those working in the health care profession. Therefore we are not encouraging participants to share the Eventbrite link on social media. Local ME & Fibromyalgia charities will also be invited to send representitives.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking is available close by, but those with mobility difficulties should contact us to arrange permission to park in the car park closest to the building. This is behind a security barrier, so pre-arranged permission is essential. Please give details of car make, colour and registration number when you make your request.
Email hope4mefibro@outlook.com please state "Conference Parking" in your email subject line

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can email us at hope4mefibro@outlook.com (preferred) Please state "Conference Question" in your email subject line. Alternatively phone 07712 892834 please call only between 2 - 5pm Monday to Friday.

We hope you will join us

Best regards
Trustees Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland

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