ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A discovery by a Mayo Clinic research team may pave the way for the creation of new drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) lung disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 patients in the United States. Currently, there are no effective treatments for RA lung disease.
In a paper that appears in today's online version of the Jan. 13 edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism, http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jtoc/76509746/, the researchers report that RA lung disease may operate much differently from other forms of lung disease. If further studies support this finding, it could change the way RA lung disease is treated as well as the design focus of drugs developed to treat it.
The Mayo Clinic research paper describes a staining method the team refined for identifying markers in RA patients' lung tissues. The results establish two key points never before fully documented in the laboratory:
- Certain specific T cells of the immune system, whose normal job in healthy people is to attack disease organisms that invade the body, are more abundant in tissue samples from patients with RA lung disease than in tissue samples from patients who have other forms of lung disease. This finding supports the concept that RA lung disease may be fundamentally different from other forms of lung disease -- and should be treated differently.
- RA lung disease detection can be improved through the technological advance of computer-assisted image analysis. This improvement allows the disease to be diagnosed early and treated aggressively as a disease of the immune system.
"Many doctors who have seen our results say, 'This is what I've always believed.' But no one had proved it to them," says Carl Turesson, M.D., Ph.D., former Mayo Clinic research fellow now working at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden. Says Dr. TuressoPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Lisa Lucier
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