New Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis May Have Been Discovered

Sep, 2021 - By WMR

New Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis May Have Been Discovered

Researchers discovered genetically engineered cells that automatically release a biological drug in response to inflammation.

A new study by the research team from Washington University School of Medicine discovered genetically engineered cells that automatically release a biological drug in response to inflammation for treating rheumatoid arthritis. The experiment was carried out on mice. The engineered cells were observed to reduce inflammation and bone damage issue which is known as bone erosion, in engineered mice. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, draining condition which affects numerous adults everywhere. The team aims to develop a treatment for people suffering the condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis is usually treated with injections or mixtures of anti-inflammatory medicines. These therapies are capable of causing reactions when they are used for longer time period in strong doses to get good results. In this research, in an attempt to find a solution for such issues, the scientists used CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology to make changes in stem cell genes. They made a small cartilage implant and adding the cells into it, they planted it in mice. This method allows cells to stay in the body of the animal for long time to release biological drug every time there is inflammatory spike. The drug secreted by these cells reduced the inflammation. The smart cells as observed help to reduce severity of the disorder in terms of inflammation, joint pain, and structural damage. It was also observed that it reduced bone damage which happens in rheumatoid arthritis in late phase.

The scientists claim that this technique can be very useful to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It may replace the conventional treatment of injections and other medication. Although these medications aid in the treatment of inflammation, they supress the immune system, hence over use of these medication may lead to harmful side effects. The treatment will be more effective and less harmful when the drugs are targeted exactly at the affected joint. This novel method may pave the path for new treatments.

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