Immunology Primer For Practitioners
I’ve been going to IACFS/ME conferences for eight years now and I’ve never seen a Workshop like this. This is a Workshop that could change how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients are tested and treated in the upcoming years. Called the “Immunology Primer for Practitioners“, it’s chaired by Dr. Daniel Peterson.
It’s mission: to produce bulletproof recommendations for immune tests that will guide both the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors are interested, patients are surely interested, and Dr. Unger from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is interested, so Simmaron Research is seizing the moment.
Recognizing the opportunity and realizing that a consensus recommendation of experts would carry the most weight, Simmaron gathered 12 experts (sponsoring half of them), including nine immunologists, to produce ironclad recommendations.
Redefining ME/CFS Indeed
The Simmaron Research Foundation is committed to ‘Scientifically Redefining ME/CFS’ and few things could change the landscape more rapidly for patients than the CDC including immune tests in its ME/CFS management guidelines.
We know common blood tests reveal little or nothing about ME/CFS, but immune tests may not only be very revealing, but may open the door to a new conception of ME/CFS in the medical community, and to a whole swath of treatments most MD’s know little about.
Producing Real Change
In order to produce real change you need to get at the ‘levers of power’ and, like it or not, the CDC is one of those levers. The CDC is trusted by gatekeepers in the medical field. It’s recommendations matter. As we know, for better (in this case) or for worse (in the past), they get spread around.
Dr. Unger’s interest in immune test recommendations from ME/CFS experts is just the latest in a series of transformative moves at the CDC. Instead of holding ME/CFS experts at arm’s length, Dr. Unger has embraced them. She has visited many of the experts’ centers, and her multi-year, multi-site clinical assessment study is bringing the insights of ME/CFS experts to the fore at the CDC and other agencies for the first time.
The Latest in Immune ME/CFS Research
Besides the recommendations, the Workshop will provide education for clinicians on the immune system in ME/CFS, overviews of immune findings, and insights into cutting-edge ME/CFS immunological research. We will hear highlights from the Australian NCNED teams intense focus on natural killer cells, learn what the CDC is currently researching, uncover what very severely ill ME/CFS patients’ immune system looks like, understand how herpesvirus infections might be linked to autoimmunity and more.
Underscoring the strong immunological focus in this IACFS/ME Conference, Dr. Peterson’s session follows an opening presentation by Dr. Ian Lipkin. Dr. Lipkin described evidence of “ongoing stimulus to the immune system” and a different immune profile patients ill less than 3 years have compared to long term patients last fall on a conference call hosted by Dr. Unger.
Dr. Klimas’ panel the next day will go deep on “The Latest Research in Immunology”, including results from Dr. Lipkin’s collaborative research, the CDC’s genomic study, and Dr. Marshall’s natural killer cell research. Her panel follows the Plenary Session with Dr. Noel Rose, Director of the Center for Autoimmune Research at Johns Hopkins.
It is a pivotal time in ME/CFS, and immunity and autoimmunity are coming into focus. Simmaron seeks to take these groundbreaking sessions into clinical practice with consensus.
Simmaron Research Foundation Moving Forward
This is just one of the Simmaron Foundation’s efforts to redefine Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by taking advantage of the expertise and experience of Dr. Peterson and his fellow practitioners.
That effort began with Dr. Peterson’s retrospective analysis of treatment success using Vistide in selected patients and will continue with further analyses of the effects of other immune-based treatments, like IVIG and Ampligen. Dr. Peterson will also be participating in the B-12/MFTHR trial this spring.
- Report From Paris: Peterson Reports Antiviral (Vistide) Effective in Treating Herpesvirus Infected Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Patients
In order to address a critical need for more expert ME/CFS clinicians the Simmaron Foundation has also funded a practitioner to learn from Dr. Peterson. Bringing expertise and research to patient care is Simmaron’s mission.
“Immunology Primer for Practitioners” Panelists
- Daniel Peterson, M.D., Owner, Sierra Internal Medicine, Incline Village, NV, Simmaron Research Scientific Advisor
- Sonya Marshall – Gradisnik, BSc (Hons), Ph.D. , Professor of Immunology, Director, National Centre for Neuroimmunology & Emerging Diseases, Griffith University, Australia
- Sharni Hardcastle, Ph.D., Research Assistant and Practical Demonstrator , Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
- Nancy Klimas, M.D. Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Director, NSU COM Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine Director, Miami VAMC Gulf War Illness and ME/CFS Research Program
- Paula Waziry, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Neuro Immune Medicine, COM, Nova Southeastern University, Miami, Fl
- Konstance Knox, Ph.D., Founder, CEO, Coppe Healthcare Solutions
- David Baewer, M.D. Ph.D, Medical Director, Coppe Healthcare Solutions
- Isabel Barao, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno, Simmaron Research Scientific
- Gunnar Gottschalk, B.S., Simmaron Research, Incline Village, NV
- Troy Querec, Ph.D., Associate Service Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
- Dennis Mangan, Ph.D., Former Chair, Trans-NIH ME/CFS Research Working Group, Office of Research on Women’s Health, U.S. National Institutes of Health
- Mary Ann Fletcher, Ph.D., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Professor of Medicine, Microbiology/Immunology and Psychology
- Elizabeth Unger, M.D. Ph.D., Chief, Chronic Viral Disease Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA