Monday June 18, 2018

Arthritis drug could cure blood cancer: Researchers

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London: A drug given to arthritis sufferers could be used to treat patients with blood cancer, say researchers from University of Sheffield in Britain.

The discovery may open up cost effective treatment options for people suffering from the blood cancer myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) across the world as the anti-inflammatory medicine is one thousandth of the cost of a promising drug which has been shown to work in the same way.

“We have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of this group of chronic diseases – a breakthrough that may represent a new treatment option able to bring relief to both patients and health funders,” said one of the researchers Martin Zeidler.

Most often diagnosed in people in their 50s and 60s, MPN cause an overproduction of blood cells creating a significant impact on quality-of-life, with symptoms such as night sweats, itching and tiredness.

Currently, MPN treatment is limited to aspirin, removal of excess blood and mild chemotherapy.

Recently, the drug Ruxolitinib was shown to provide relief, but at a cost of over 40,000 pounds per year per patient, it has not been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in Britain.

The study has discovered that Methotrexate (MTX) can work in the same way. It is commonly used at low doses to treat inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis and has few side effects.

medical research

“Given that a year’s course of low-dose MTX costs around 30 pounds, the potential to repurpose MTX could provide thousands of patients with a much needed treatment option and also generate substantial savings for health care systems,” Zeidler said.

In this study, the scientists tested the effectiveness of the drug in treating MPN in fruit fly and human cells.

The researchers are now looking to undertake clinical trials to examine the possibility of repurposing low-dose MTX for the treatment of MPNs.

The results of the study appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.

 

(IANS)

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Obesity And Smoking: Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease

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Obesity And Smoking Becomes Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment
Obesity And Smoking Becomes Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment, Pixabay

Obesity in women and smoking among men could be major factors behind not achieving remission in rheumatoid arthritis, despite early treatment, researchers say.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability and can also affect internal organs.

The study showed that though early identification and aggressive treatment improve arthritis outcomes, six per cent of women and 38 per cent of men did not achieve remission in the first year despite receiving guideline-based care.

“Our results suggest that lifestyle changes — smoking cessation in men and weight reduction in women — as well as optimising methotrexate use may facilitate rapid reduction of inflammation, an essential goal of treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis,” said Susan Bartlett, professor of Medicine at McGill University in Canada.

The study, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, included 1,628 adults with an average age of 55.

The analysis highlighted that obesity more than doubled the likelihood of not achieving remission in women.

obesity
obesity, Pixabay

In men, current smoking was associated with 3.5 greater odds of not achieving remission within the first year.

Further, almost all patients within the study were initially treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs), with three quarters being treated with methotrexate.

Analysis demonstrated that not using methotrexate significantly increased the likelihood of not achieving remission in women by 28 per cent and in men by 45 per cent.

Also read: drug free compound can ease arthritis pain

“These results highlight the need to support physicians and empower patients to take advantage of the impact lifestyle changes can have on disease progression,” Johannes Bijlsma, President, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), said in a statement. (IANS)

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