Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Radiating Relief: Researcher Combats Stubborn Arthritis With Neutrons

Date:
January 18, 2000
Source:
Idaho National E & E Laboratory
Summary:
An injection and a few minutes in a gentle beam of neutrons may someday ease the pain of severe rheumatoid arthritis for thousands of Americans. In collaboration with the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, physicist Jacquelyn Yanch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised a new way to kill the synovium, the lining that overgrows and ruins a joint afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- An injection and a few minutes in a gentle beam of neutrons may someday ease the pain of severe rheumatoid arthritis for thousands of Americans.

Related Articles


In collaboration with the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, physicist Jacquelyn Yanch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised a new way to kill the synovium, the lining that overgrows and ruins a joint afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. She is testing the technique on rabbits and hopes to test it on humans in a few years.

Yanch injects a boron compound into an arthritic joint and exposes the joint to a beam of subatomic particles called neutrons. The boron absorbs some of the neutrons and forms a radioactive substance that quickly decays. Radiation from the decay kills the synovium and vanishes as soon as the neutron beam is turned off, since boron itself is not radioactive.

In helping develop the new arthritis treatment, INEEL, the DOE's leading nuclear technology laboratory, is applying and expanding its nuclear expertise. Advancing nuclear technologies is one of INEEL's assigned missions. For more than 10 years INEEL has conducted research on boron neutron capture therapy, a treatment for brain tumors that exploits the same interaction between boron and neutrons.

"This is an application for certain key technologies we've developed from the cancer program," said INEEL physicist David Nigg, who is collaborating with Yanch. "We're excited about it."

INEEL is studying the speeds and trajectories of the neutrons in the beam so Yanch and her coworkers can better estimate how much radiation they are administering.

The new technique should be more effective than surgery, which often fails to remove all the diseased tissue. It should be safer than an injection of a radioactive material, which kills the synovium, but leaves radioactivity in the body.

No one knows what initiates or how to cure rheumatoid arthritis, a potentially crippling disease that afflicts more than two million Americans. The disease arises when the immune system mistakenly targets the synovium, the membrane that surrounds a joint and holds in the lubricating synovial fluid. The synovium grows abnormally and invades cartilage and bone, causing them to soften and crumble.

Drugs can often hold the immune system in check. But even after drug therapy, between 10 and 20 percent of patients continue to suffer in at least one joint. Then, the only way to slow the progress of the disease is to get rid of the synovium.

Yanch and her collaborators from MIT, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Newton Scientific, Inc., are trying their technique on the knees of rabbits with induced rheumatoid arthritis. Early results are promising. "We have very clear evidence that we've killed the synovium," Yanch said, "which is what you want to do."

But more work must be done before Yanch can test the technique on people. For treatment of non-lethal diseases the FDA requires experiments on two different animal species before it will approve experiments with humans, Yanch said.

Yanch thought of the technique in 1992, but the technology began to grow only after she received support from INEEL in 1995. "Most of the development has come with funds we've received through the University Research Consortium," Yanch says. "It's been a big help."

###INEEL's University Research Consortium fosters collaboration between laboratory and university researchers to produce valuable new technologies and address national energy or environmental needs. The consortium funds several projects involving nuclear energy and technology.

The INEEL is managed and operated by Bechtel BWXT, Idaho, LLC (BBWI) for the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more information, see a feature story at http://inelext1.inel.gov/science/feature.nsf/ineel/synovectomy


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Idaho National E & E Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Idaho National E & E Laboratory. "Radiating Relief: Researcher Combats Stubborn Arthritis With Neutrons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118062757.htm>.
Idaho National E & E Laboratory. (2000, January 18). Radiating Relief: Researcher Combats Stubborn Arthritis With Neutrons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118062757.htm
Idaho National E & E Laboratory. "Radiating Relief: Researcher Combats Stubborn Arthritis With Neutrons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118062757.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins