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Daniel Peterson is an American physician in private practice in the state of Nevada, and has been described as a "pioneer" in the treatment of central nervous system infections and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). He graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, in 1976 and was an intern and resident at the University of Utah Medical Center from 1976-1979. In 1979 he became a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is president of Sierra Internal Medicine of Incline Village, established in 1981.
Work on myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome
Peterson with Paul Cheney, was a treating physician at Incline Village during an outbreak of chronic fatigue syndrome that began in 1984 in the Lake Tahoe region. From 1984-87, the illness was recorded in 259 patients in the area by the two physicians. The Lake Tahoe outbreak became the subject of several studies by Peterson and others. In 1995 Peterson and other investigators started conducting a 10-year follow-up study on patients seen during the outbreak. The study results were published in 2001 by the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In the 2000 CFS documentary I Remember Me, Peterson was interviewed about some of his experiences during the Lake Tahoe outbreak.
In 1988, Peterson was the first physician to treat an extremely ill person diagnosed with CFS with the experimental drug Ampligen by obtaining compassionate use permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Quantitative improvement in the first patient enabled the next pilot study of Ampligen in CFS patients by Peterson and other researchers. During the 1990 Cambridge Easter Symposium on myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome in the United Kingdom, Peterson described positive results in 15 patients who satisfied the 1988 Holmes criteria for CFS and also showed evidence of encephalopathy, after he treated them with Ampligen for approximately 6 months. In 1990 and 1991 Peterson was one of four principal investigators for the FDA approved phase II randomized placebo controlled double blind study of the experimental intravenous drug Ampligen. The drug was administered in his Incline Village facility and three other sites. Peterson and others reported there was statistically significant improvement in the patients receiving Ampligen. He is a principal investigator of the FDA-approved open label safety and efficacy phase III drug study of Ampligen for treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. According to the drug developer Hemispherx Biopharma, a New Drug Application for Ampligen treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome has been filed with the FDA but has not yet been approved.
Peterson was a member of the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group that co-authored the most widely used clinical and research description of CFS, called the 1994 CDC definition, and the Fukuda definition. He is a co-author of the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols initiated by Health Canada and published by an international group of researchers in 2003.
Peterson was part of the founding board, and is a past president of the International Association for CFS/ME, a professional organization advocating for the interests of CFS researchers and clinicians worldwide. He is the medical director of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease. He is a member of the board of directors and the scientific advisory board of the HHV-6 Foundation, a nonprofit organization promoting human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) associated scientific and clinical research.
In 2003 he received the distinguished CFS/FM scientist, physician or healthcare worker Rudy Perpich award, and in 2007 received the Nelson Gantz Outstanding Clinician Award from the International Association for CFS/ME.
In 1999 Peterson was commended by the Assembly and Senate of the State of Nevada, for his work and dedication to persons with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Caligiuri M, Murray C, Buchwald D, Levine H, Cheney P, Peterson D, Komaroff AL, Ritz J (1987), "Phenotypic and functional deficiency of natural killer cells in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome", J Immunol, Nov;139(10):3306–13, pmid=2824604, 20090611
- Daugherty SA, Henry BE, Peterson DL, Swarts RL, Bastien S, Thomas RS (1991), "Chronic fatigue syndrome in northern Nevada", Rev Infect Dis, 13(S1):S39–44, pmid=1850542
- Levine PH, Peterson D, McNamee FL, O'Brien K, Gridley G, Hagerty M, Brady J, Fears T, Atherton M, Hoover R (1992), "Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Predispose to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?", Cancer Res Oct;52(S):S55l6-55l8
- Strayer DR, Carter WA, Brodsky I, Cheney P, Peterson D, Salvato P, Thompson C, Loveless M, Shapiro DE, Elsasser W, et al. (1994), "A controlled clinical trial with a specifically configured RNA drug, poly(I).poly(C12U), in chronic fatigue syndrome", Clin. Infect. Dis., Jan;18(S1):S88–95, pmid=8148460
- Suhadolnik RJ, Reichenbach NL, Hitzges P, Sobol RW, Peterson DL, Henry B, Ablashi DV, Müller WE, Schröder HC, Carter WA, et al. (1994), "Upregulation of the 2-5A synthetase/RNase L antiviral pathway associated with chronic fatigue syndrome", Clin. Infect. Dis., Jan;18(S1):S96–104, pmid=8148461
- Suhadolnik RJ, Reichenbach NL, Hitzges P, Adelson ME, Peterson DL, Cheney P, Salvato P, Thompson C, Loveless M, Müller WE, et al. (1994), "Changes in the 2-5A synthetase/RNase L antiviral pathway in a controlled clinical trial with poly(I)-poly(C12U) in chronic fatigue syndrome", In Vivo, 8(4):599–604, pmid=7893988
- Suhadolnik RJ, Peterson DL, O'Brien K, Cheney PR, Herst CV, Reichenbach NL, Kon N, Horvath SE, Iacono KT, Adelson ME, De Meirleir K, De Becker P, Charubala R, Pfleiderer W (1997), "Biochemical evidence for a novel low molecular weight 2-5A-dependent RNase L in chronic fatigue syndrome", J. Interferon Cytokine Res., Jul;17(7):377–85, pmid=9243369
- Ablashi DV, Eastman HB, Owen CB, Roman MM, Friedman J, Zabriskie JB, Peterson DL, Pearson GR, Whitman JE (2000), "Frequent HHV-6 reactivation in multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients", J. Clin. Virol., May;16(3):179–91, pmid=10738137 20090611
- Shetzline SE, Martinand-Mari C, Reichenbach NL, Buletic Z, Lebleu B, Pfleiderer W, Charubala R, De Meirleir K, De Becker P, Peterson DL, Herst CV, Englebienne P, Suhadolnik RJ (2002), "Structural and functional features of the 37-kDa 2-5A-dependent RNase L in chronic fatigue syndrome", J. Interferon Cytokine Res., Apr;22(4):443–56, pmid=12034027