Tags: arthritis | vaccine | rheumatoid | immunotherapy

Vaccine Holds Promise Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 12:45 PM

Australian researchers have developed a new vaccine designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

A phase one clinical trial, reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the University of Queensland researchers found the new treatment is safe and effective in suppressing the immune response associated with RA, Medical Xpress reports.

Lead researcher Ranjeny Thomas noted current treatments only target symptoms of the disease, but that the vaccine combats the underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

"Current therapies only treat the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease," Thomas said. "We have designed a vaccine-style treatment or 'immunotherapy' specifically for individuals carrying high-risk rheumatoid arthritis genes and specific rheumatoid arthritis antibodies, called anti-CCP [which] accounts for the majority of cases.”

Thomas said the treatment involves a single injection of the patient's own immune-system cells, which have been modified in the lab, to treat the condition and reduce pain and inflammation.

"At this stage, the technique would not be ideal for widespread treatment or prevention of rheumatoid arthritis because it's costly and time-consuming,” he noted. "However, the promising results of this trial lay the foundations for the development of a more cost-effective, clinically-practical vaccine technology that could deliver similar outcomes for patients.”

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues, particularly in the joints, causing inflammation, pain, disability, and deformity.

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Researchers have developed a new vaccine designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the most common form of the debilitating disease.
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Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 12:45 PM
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