The Handoff: Your Week in Rheumatology News – 3/10/17

  • The National Psoriasis Foundation will hold its 2017 Research Symposium from August 3-5 in Chicago. Online registration is now open for the event dedicated to psoriatic disease research.
  • A European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) writing committee has issued recommendations for family planning for women with systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome. Published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the guidance examines family planning, contraception, and pregnancy, in addition to related issues such as menopause, screening for malignancy, and HPV vaccination.
  • A study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that certain compounds that bind to a small region of a critical protein, CD11b, can reduce inflammation that occurs in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. Vineet Gupta, PhD, professor and vice chair for Research and Innovation at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, co-authored the study and said although any approved treatment resulting from the research would be years away, the compounds can potentially lead to effective treatments or even a cure for lupus.
  • Results of a small study on TNF inhibitor transfer from plasma into breast milk found that certolizumab pegol concentrations were either minimal or non-existent. The study evaluated breast milk samples from 17 lactating mothers diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis, and axial spondyloarthritis/ankylosing spondylitis.
  • China-based Cellular Biomedicine Group (CBMG) has been awarded $2.29 million from the governing board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to support preclinical studies of stem cell treatments for knee osteoarthritis. The funding will support preclinical studies of AlloJoin, the company’s allogeneic human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells and their potential to treat the disease.
  • Research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology concluded that although secukinumab, an interleukin 17A (IL-17A) inhibitor, was effective for treating symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis for whom anti-TNF therapy failed, clinicians should not consider IL-17A inhibition as a treatment option for these patients on its own because of a lack of incremental benefit to treatment.
  • In the video below, Shane Shapiro, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, discusses how researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida have conducted the first clinical study to test the efficacy of using bone marrow stem cells to treat the pain and symptoms of arthritis in the knee. 

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