Reported in Unavadis, a large study of Swedish health registry data indicates that lymphoma risk remains elevated among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), despite evolution of treatment. Treatment advances for RA do not appear to have affected lymphoma risk. Records from 12,656 patients with RA from the Swedish Rheumatology Register linked to Swedish Cancer Register were compared with control patients for lymphoma incidence over time.
Comment: Disturbing since I would expect our newer treatments to decrease lymphoma risk.
Study Shows Potential for Early Diagnosis of Arthritis
Pat Anson writing for Pain News Network reported a new study by British researchers has demonstrated the potential for an experimental blood test that can diagnose arthritis in its earliest stages. Such a test could lead to earlier treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), years before joint damage and physical symptoms begin.
Researchers at Warwick Medical School recruited 225 people with early or advanced OA, RA or another inflammatory joint disease, along with a control group of healthy volunteers with no joint problems. Their blood and fluid from affected knee joints were then analyzed with mass spectrometry.
The test found patterns in blood plasma amino acids that were damaged by oxygen, nitrogen and sugar molecules. The damage was highest in the blood samples of patients with OA or RA, and markedly lower in the blood of healthy volunteers — giving researchers identifiable biomarkers that could be used for an early diagnosis.
“This is a big step forward for early-stage detection of arthritis that will help start treatment early and prevent painful and debilitating disease,” said Naila Rabbani, PhD, of Warwick Medical School. “Damage to proteins in the arthritic joint have been known for many years but this is the first time it has been exploited for early-stage diagnosis.
“For the first time we measured small fragments from damaged proteins that leak from the joint into blood. The combination of changes in oxidised, nitrated and sugar-modified amino acids in blood enabled early stage detection and classification of arthritis – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or other self-resolving inflammatory joint disease.”
Do the immunosuppressive drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis treatment increase cancer risk? The answer next…
Most immunosuppressive drugs do not significantly increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence
Dr. Lara Pullen writing in Arthritis and Rheumatology reported on a study involving 3 large populations of women with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease who had undergone surgery for primary breast cancer. What the researchers found was that the risk of breast cancer recurrence in patients who received methotrexate or anti-TNF therapy did not have a significant risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Comment: I think this is reassuring news for clinicians who choose to start methotrexate or anti-TNF therapy in rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease patients with treated breast cancer.
A novel method for detection and treatment in rheumatoid arthritis… next
Rheumatoid Arthritis Effectively Diagnosed And Treated With Biodegradable Nanoparticles In Early Study
Dr. Patricia Inacio writing in Rheumatoid Arthritis News reported biodegradable polymer nanoparticles (BNPs), tiny particles made of a biodegradable polymer, appear to be quite useful for the early detection and for long-term, effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with minimal side effects, according to a study presented at the recent. These particles, once coated with a molecule that specifically targets inflamed joint tissues, ensure a high degree of efficacy in delivering both diagnostic probes and drugs to arthritic joints.
Dr. Paolo Macor, the study’s lead investigator from the Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy said “There is a need to develop a new tool to enable early diagnosis, and also to develop tissue-specific agents able to reduce systemic side effects. This would increase the potency of drugs with lower doses, and also potentially reduce the cost of treatment,” Dr. Macor said.
Comment: Exciting and I look forward to hearing more.
A pair of recent studies look in an interesting place to find commonality among rheumatoid arthritis sufferers:
Ryan Black writing for MD reported on a study published in Genome Medicine from the Mayo clinic. Veena Taneja, Ph D of the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Immunized Medicine said they sought to find a biomarker in the form of gut microbiota. Examining fecal samples of (human) RA patients and their first-degree relatives, the researchers noticed that an abundance of collinsella in the gut was linked to increased RA symptoms.
To test this, they administered collinsella to “humanized” mice, and found that “Mice given [Collinsella aerofaciens] developed arthritis with increased incidence and severity compared with non-treated mice (100 % incidence in treated vs 62.5 % in untreated, P = 0.068).” Their findings indicate that collinsella may be a predictive biomarker for RA in humans.
Comment: Maybe I’ll stay away from pepperoni pizza…