Dr. Lipkin's ME/CFS research project pending publication

Soon to be published ME/CFS research project expected to provide valuable data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Patient-Centered Outreach and Communication Activity (PCOCA) held its second conference call for this year, on September 10, 2013. Elizabeth Unger, PhD, MD, Branch Chief, Chronic Viral Diseases Branch at the CDC served as host for this call that featured the world-renowned scientist, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, who spoke about "Infection and Immunity in CFS." Dr. Lipkin is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology Professor of Neurology and Pathology Director, Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. He has spent the past 30 years doing high-caliber research of many infectious agents, outbreaks, and emerging infectious diseases.

Dr. Lipkin has also worked on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) research on several occasions. Several years ago, he was asked to lead the research project that re-examined XMRV/PMV in CFS (no infections were found in CFS); however, that study revealed many of the CFS patients had evidence of immune activation which captured Dr. Lipkin's interest. In this telephone broadcast, Dr. Lipkin provided a preview of some of the findings to come from a large research ME/CFS project, prior to its publication. This project was supported by the Chronic Fatigue Initiative (funded by the Hutchins Family Foundation). Although Dr. Lipkin prefaced his report with remarks that no single agent or cause was identified for CFS, he spoke about what he considers to be valuable data and where the focus of future research should go.

Phoenix Rising provides an excellent summary of the material presented by Dr. Lipkin in the following article, Lipkin finds biomarkers not bugs. Their article incorporates the transcript from this telephone broadcast; the link appears at the top of the article (i.e, this is highly recommended reading).

Research from Invest in ME (IiME)

Invest in ME (IiME) is an independent UK charity campaigning for bio-medical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), as defined by WHO-ICD-10-G93.3. Invest in ME are one of the founding members of The European ME Alliance (http://www.euro-me.org).

This organization provides links nationwide (for the UK) as well as internationally, including The Journal of IiME (current and prior issues). 

In 2012, they released this comprehensive 108 page article titled, THE IMMUNOLOGICAL BASIS OF ME/CFS: what is already known?,  (original source: CO-CURE). A compilation of documented immune system abnormalities in ME/CFS from 1983-2011 by Margaret Williams, published in the Journal of Invest in ME, Vol 6 Issue 1, 29-98 (June 2012). This article serves as an important resource for researchers, clinicians and patients.

To view and download previous journals, click on The Journal of IiME. To learn more about this organization and current events, go to Invest in ME (IiME) home page.

Summary of the 7th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2012 report (IIMEC7 - June 1, 2012 London, UK) by Rosamund Vallings, MNZM, MBBS, of the Associated New Zealand ME Society.


XMRV/HGRV status December 2011

A series of articles updating the status of XMRV, MLV and HGRV research at Y/E 2011, as follows:

“A Message from CII Director W. Ian Lipkin Regarding the XMRV/MLV CFS/ME Study”
(The Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University, December 28, 2011)

“Authors retract paper on detection of murine leukemia virus-releated sequences in CFS patients” (Virology Blog, December 26, 2011)

”Changing status of XMRV / HGRV research” (The Cheney Clinic, December 5, 2011)

New Chronic Fatigue Initiative Funds Scientific Research

The Chronic Fatigue Initiative (CFI), a privately funded 501(c)3, has enlisted leading CFS/ME researchers to participate in a new collaboration. This is the first time the "venture funding" model, which uses private money to fund research on "overlooked" diseases and has been successful with cystic fibrosis and multiple myeloma, has been applied specifically to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. According to Scott Carlson, Executive Director of the CFI, the Hutchins Family Foundation is providing "over $10 million" to fund projects through 2014, with the possibility of more depending on the findings.

The Chronic Fatigue Initiative has planned research projects in several areas, beginning with building a "bio-bank" containing biologic samples from a "well-characterized" cohort of 200 CFS patients and 200 healthy controls, collected by leading clinicians from around the country. Dr. Nancy Klimas is in charge of cohort recruitment. These samples can then be used for study by researchers around the country.

Creation of the bio-bank and a database to link information about the patients to the samples will be followed by research to discover and study possible pathogens involved in the illness.
An Epidemiology Project will utilize epidemiologic data from the Harvard School of Public Health to study possible environmental as well as biological risk factors for CFS.

A "Mechanism of Illness" program will work with a scientific advisory board of leading researchers and clinicians to formulate hypotheses and fund new grants for research to test these hypotheses.

Participating institutions include the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, Harvard School of Public Health, Stanford Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Duke University, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Miami and University of Utah. Lead researchers include such familiar names as Drs. Nancy Klimas, Lucinda Bateman, Dan Peterson, Jose Montoya and Ian Lipkin.