Biologic therapy directed at B-cells could turn out be more effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease arising out of an auto immune disorder.//
An international study conducted on Rituximab, a form of biologic therapy for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has been found to achieve remission in rheumatoid arthritis patients who exhibit resistance to conventional DMARDs. The effect, independent of steroid administration is seen despite the variability in the dosage of the drug.
Drugs aimed at suppressing inflammation-provoking cytokines--specifically those linked to T-cells--have improved the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Still, the frequency of remission achieved by these biologic agents remains below 50 percent. To increase the success rate of biologic therapy for RA patients, researchers have honed in on a new target: the B cell.
Rituximab, a biologic agent that selectively depletes B cells, has been successfully used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It has also been shown to improve disease symptoms for RA patients, when injected at aggressive levels for a two-week period. To investigate this biologic's potential long-term therapeutic value, an international team of scientists set out to compare the effectiveness and safety of different rituximab doses over a 24-week period, with and without steroids. Their study focused on 465 RA patients with moderate to severe symptoms resistant to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including other biologics. The results, featured in the May 2006 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Drawn from outpatient populations in California, Texas, Arizona, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, and England, the subjects were randomly divided into nine treatment groups. Three groups received a 1,000-mg. dose of rituximab--two infusions two weeks apart--with either intravenous steroid, oral steroid, or placebo. Three groups received a 50Page: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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