Media Blitz By Norway’s TV2

Media Coverage, Research News | 23. Oct, 2011 by | 19 Comments


Drs. Mella and Fluge have become a media sensation in Norway (Photo: TV2)

By K. Kimberly McCleary, President & CEO

The PLoS ONE publication about promising results of a phase II clinical trial of rituximab in CFS, from a team of clinical researchers led by Drs. Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella at Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, has generated a blitz of media coverage by TV2, Norway’s second largest television station. TV2 has produced numerous interviews with Drs. Fluge and Mella, several of the patients who participated in the trial, local patients hearing the news, and public health officials who have pledged more responsive support for patients and policy that will advance the research. Dr. David Bell, a widely respected New York physician credited with being one of the first to recognize CFS in the United States, is so far the only person outside of Norway to be interviewed by the station about the research.

The stories are posted to the station’s website in Norweigan, with translations of the written text available using google translate or other tools. The translations are rough, with the usual difficulties associated with medical terms and idiomatic phrases. We’ve listed some of the articles here. A complete list (compiled and updated regularly by TV2) is available here: Video clips are also available. Here is a 7-minute video that includes Dr. Bell’s interview: (English captions may be available by clicking “cc” on the toolbar below the video, depending on your computer settings.)


Some of the people featured by TV2 in their coverage of the rituximab study

“Norweigan research breakthrough can solve CFS mystery” (Oct. 19, 2011)

“Elene cured of ME” (Oct. 19, 2011)

“American professor applauds research results” (Oct. 19, 2011)

“When can we get the second ME treatment?” (Oct. 19, 2011)

“All about ME breakthrough” (Oct. 20, 2011)

“Anne was sick with ME” (Oct. 20, 2011)

“Will find the world’s first ME test” (Oct. 20, 2011)

“[Health minister] Strøm-Erichsen promises to follow ME breakthrough,” (Oct. 20, 2011)

“[Member of Parliament] Laila Dåvøy about ME breakthrough — on behalf of the severely ill ME patients this provides enormous hope” (Oct. 20, 2011)

“ME sufferer ‘Gunnar’ was not believed, was admitted to psychiatric (ward)” (Oct. 21, 2011)

“Pain being a mom with ME,” (Oct. 21, 2011)

“Anne Kathrine put the cancer doctors on the trail of ME treatment” (Oct. 22, 2011)

“Health directorate: we do not have good (national) health services for sufferers” (Oct. 22, 2011)

For a summary of the study and its results, as well as a list of media coverage by outlets in the U.S. and other countries, please visit

K. Kimberly McCleary has served as the Association’s chief staff executive since 1991

October 23, 2011