So… which treatment for RA that works on an “as needed” basis? Find out next…
As-needed Rituxan delays need for retreatment, disease flares in patients with RA
Reported in Healio, among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a significant proportion of those who underwent a treatment-as-needed regimen with rituximab were found to have delayed need for retreatment and disease flare, according to study findings.
The observational study included medical records data for 151 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were treated with rituximab and followed up for at least 12 months after the onset of treatment. Most patients were concurrently taking a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). Median disease duration was 15 years. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
Comment: The decision when to give Rituxan is complicated. Most rheumatologists go with a six month schedule. This “treatment as needed” schedule is very appealing.
Cartilage in nose may be cure for arthritis misery
Jo Willey writing for the Express reported researchers have been able to completely repair damaged knees in a discovery which could revolutionise osteoarthritis treatment.
Current treatments can only relieve the symptoms and as the disease is still incurable, patients often require costly hip or knee replacements.
Now researchers have found that cells from the nose are especially good at regrowing cartilage in other parts of the body.
They say that as well as repairing cartilage in joints after injuries such as sports accidents, these nose cartilage cells could potentially be useful in other areas of regenerative medicine.
These could include plastic or reconstructive surgery, as well as for degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.
For decades, doctors have repaired cartilage by growing cells called chondrocytes in the lab and implanting them into joints during surgery.
Dr Ivan Martin, a professor of tissue engineering, and his colleagues from University Hospital Basel, in Switzerland, have now shown that chondrocytes from inside the nose have a far greater regrowing ability.
Prof Martin said last night that nine people with knee injuries had been successfully treated using the breakthrough treatment.
He said the new methods meant cartilage was repaired more efficiently – and could help arthritis victims.
He told the Daily Express: “We have already treated nine patients with traumatic cartilage injuries. Until now the patients are doing very well and the treatment seems to be working. However, longer time assessments are required to draw any conclusion.”
If you have knee osteoarthritis and you have a meniscus tear, should you have an arthroscopy…
Study Questions Value of Certain Knee Surgeries
Kathleen Dohney writing for Healthday reported compared to conservative treatments, arthroscopic knee surgery offers no apparent benefit for middle-aged people with age-related tears of the meniscus — the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, according to a new analysis.
This particular group of patients “may not benefit from rushing into arthroscopic surgery,” said study researcher Dr. Moin Khan, chief resident of orthopedic surgery at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
Conservative treatment, such as anti-inflammatory medicine and physical therapy, should be tried first, the researchers said.
Khan said experts have begun to realize that the surgery isn’t helpful for everyone with knee damage. Some research has shown that those with severe arthritis and age-related tears in the meniscus don’t benefit in the long run, he noted.
Comment: Not a surprise. Arthroscopy by itself should not be done for arthritis and associated meniscus tears unless the tears are acute.
Think that gimping around on a bum knee from osteoarthritis is a benign condition? Think again…
OA Walking Disability Increases Cardiovascular Risk
Patrice Wendling writing in Rheumatology News reported that walking disability is an independent predictor of death from cardiovascular events. Also, total joint replacement reduced that risk by 40% according to a Canadian study from the University of Toronto and presented at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis.
Comment: So osteoarthritis is not such a benign condition. Treatment is important.
So… in the battle of the genders, who is at risk for complications after joint replacement… men or women? Discover the answer next…
Men at higher risk after joint replacement
Patrice Wendling writing in Rheumatology News reported that a Canadian study from the University of Toronto indicated that men were more likely to suffer from complications after joint replacement than women. Complications included heart attack, infection, and revision surgery. The increased risk was particularly severe following total knee replacement. Findings were presented at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis.