Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could Arthritis Wonder Drugs Provide Clues For Other Diseases?

Date:
July 17, 2008
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Drugs that have helped treat millions of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may hold the key to many more medical conditions, including atherosclerosis -- a leading cause of heart disease -- says the researcher who jointly invented and developed them.

Certain anti-arthritis drugs have already proved successful against other autoimmune diseases, researchers report.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kevin Russ

Drugs that have helped treat millions of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may hold the key to many more medical conditions, including atherosclerosis -- a leading cause of heart disease -- says the researcher who jointly invented and developed them.

Professor Marc Feldmann will tell scientists attending the 2008 Congress of European Pharmacological Societies (EPHAR) -- hosted by the British Pharmacological Society -- that drugs he and colleagues helped develop have already proved successful against other autoimmune diseases.

The drugs target proteins called cytokines, which are protein messaging molecules released by immune cells to alert the immune and other systems that the body is under attack from a pathogen and to initiate a protective counter-response against the infection.

"In autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, we discovered that cytokines are over-produced causing the immune system to fight itself, resulting in inflammation and tissue destruction," said Professor Feldmann, from Imperial College London, who is speaking at the EPHAR 2008 conference at The University of Manchester the week of July 18.

"We further found that by blocking just one cytokine -- Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) alpha -- we were able to block all the cytokines involved in the inflammation, with remarkable clinical results."

The team's research led to the development of three anti-TNF alpha drugs -- infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab -- which have had a dramatic effect on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis patients, protecting the joints from further deterioration in the vast majority of cases.

Blocking TNF alpha has had further success in treating several more chronic inflammatory conditions, including Crohn's disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and ulcerative colitis.

But Professor Feldmann, Head of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, believes similar drugs have the potential to treat many other medical conditions and will also tell the conference about his work on atherosclerosis, a disease affecting the arterial blood vessels, commonly known as 'hardening of the arteries', with his colleague Dr Claudia Monaco.

Their work, which has won a number of awards, has resulted in the emergence of a new branch of medicine -- anti-cytokine therapy -- and research elsewhere has showed promise in yet more conditions, including the potentially fatal acute alcoholic hepatitis.

Professor Feldmann said: "During the conference I will be discussing the potential therapeutic targets in tissue affected by atherosclerosis, which is caused by a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of the arteries, in large part, caused by an excessive immune response to cholesterol.

"I will also discuss whether it is possible -- even likely -- that cytokines play a critical role in all diseases involving multiple biological processes, thus providing therapeutic targets for all unmet medical needs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Could Arthritis Wonder Drugs Provide Clues For Other Diseases?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717193027.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2008, July 17). Could Arthritis Wonder Drugs Provide Clues For Other Diseases?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717193027.htm
University of Manchester. "Could Arthritis Wonder Drugs Provide Clues For Other Diseases?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717193027.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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