New Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

KNOCK OUT PAIN CELLS

THE LATEST ADVANCES IN PREVENTION AND TREATMENT Medical Frontiers
Rituximab (Rituxan), a cancer drug, may be a potent rheumatoid arthritis (RA) soother. In a 24-week study of 160 people with RA, half of those who took Rituxan alone or with a steroid drug said their pain, fatigue, and joint tenderness were cut in half.

Unlike most other RA drugs, Rituxan knocks out B cells, the source of antibodies that help fuel RA's cycle of inflammation and pain. "No RA therapy works for all patients, so it's exciting that we have a different approach," says arthritis expert James O'Dell, MD, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

RA patients may need just two shots for relief that lasts up to 3 years. Though larger studies are planned, the drug may be available as an off-label treatment for severe RA.

CONTRIBUTORS DAVID CARUSO, KASIA DAWIDOWSKA, TOBY HANLON, BARBARA LOECHER, JORDAN MATUS, PAULA RASICH, JUDITH SPRINGER RIDDLE, ERIN VERKLER

~~~~~~~~

By P.R.

Edited by Sari Harrar

Share this with your friends