Possible ‘cure’ for RA – this one sounds better than the last one …

April 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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OK, so I really depressed myself with my last post – what a dumb, trivial thing to get depressed about in the scheme of things,* but that’s the way it is sometimes when you’re an overweight dumpy-frump with curled-up feet and possibly PMT!! So anyway, here’s something potentially more cheerful!

According to The Daily Telegraph this morning, there’s another ‘one-treatment cure for RA’ in the pipeline, and unlike the last one, that needed to be injected into every joint, this really is a one-off treatment that could put patients into remission for years or even a lifetime.

To say it’s early days would be a bit of an understatement, but the good news is that, like most RA drugs, it’s a drug, otelixizumab, that’s already been shown to safe in humans because has already been used ” in much stronger doses to prevent transplant patients rejecting donor organs”. If it works, we’re looking ten years down the line – they’re just about to start the first clinical trial in humans. And if it works the researchers have already said that it might potentially only help people in the early stages; “”However, the chance of this happening in patients who have had the disease for a while is not altogether absent,” says Prof John Isaacs of Newcastle Uni. Oh yes, and at the moment ‘one-off’ is not quite as it sounds – you’re looking at between two and five hours A DAY for FIVE DAYS of intravenous injection. Worse than dialysis. But the point is that unlike dialysis that’s it – you’re cooked. Off you go and hopefully no more RA damage. And also they’re hoping that if they can prove it works, they will be able to produce a different form of the drug that patients can administer themselves (and that presumably will not take ten hours minimum).

This is a nicely balanced article in my opinion – and I rarely say that about medical journalism – it’s not full of the hyperbole that the last one injection cure seemed to bring out and it doesn’t say ‘lots of old people will benefit’ as did the last arthritis article I commented on, although Kate Devlin hasn’t been brave enough to try and say what RA is (probably having seen so many medical journalists shot down when they do that!) The closest she gets is “The condition is different from osteoarthritis, the ‘wear and tear’ form of the disease that typically effects older patients.” Well it doesn’t say much, but you can’t argue with it, really. ;o)

This may not be something that will ever help me (because ten years from now I guess I won’t be considered to be in the early stages of the disease, even if it stays mild), and it probably won’t help you if your’re reading this blog, but anything that really has the potential to ‘cure’ RA (and obviously it won’t undo any joint damage that’s already taken place, but if it stops further damage – great), has got to be good news – and especially good news if you have RA and also have children!

* Not that I’m suggesting your wedding is trivial, Mrs Mooseface!

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  1. A cure would be sooooo awesome. Thanks for sharing this.

    And I don’t think shoes are trivial. What we wear on our feet can be one of the first visible signs of our invisible disease. Shoes are a big deal.

  2. Very exciting! And I don’t think shoes are trivial, either. Still trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to wear all summer long….
    :) L

  3. Thanks Laurie and Warm Socks for making me not feel so silly about the whole shoe thing … but HECK, I hadn’t even thought about summer shoes in general! It’s a good point!!

  4. I do hope this new med isn’t just another flash in the pan, effective for some people and not for others, and in varying degrees of success. While I’d love to be able to take something that would stop my RA in its tracks once and for all, what matters more is the futures for others who discover they have this disease. Thanks for telling us about it, Polly.

    As for shoes: Ugh. There just isn’t much out there for women with problem feet. That said, I spend a great deal of my summer wearing Teva sandals. They’re sturdy without looking like Roman centurian wear, provide good support and cushioning in the sole, and come in styles that are just a wee bit dressier (if you want that) for those nights out on the town. Good luck finding what you want for the wedding AND for the summertime. Nope, it’s not trivial. Shoes often make the outfit — or so I’m told. I haven’t worn anything dressy for so long I hardly think of it anymore…


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