Recently, a new study has identified a couple of biomarkers that may predict disease progression in patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis (or: AS for short), an autoimmune disease also called Morbus Bechterew.
The German study describes key inter-group differences between different types of AS patients, which may predict the progression of structural damage in the spine. In the future awareness of such differences will help physicians to stratify patients due to risk. Hence, the results may pave the way for developing specific treatment options for this autoimmune disorder.
New treatment options on the horizon
In the more recent past, several biomarkers have been described to be associated with radiographic spinal progression and syndesmophyte formation in Bechterew’s disease. However, it is not clear, whether these biomarkers are also able to predict new bone formation in AS patients.
Found last Week on the Internet, part 1: Up-to-date Articles on Autoimmunity and Autoimmune Diseases
Duroux-Richard I, Jorgensen C, Apparailly F. miRNAs and rheumatoid arthritis – promising novel biomarkers. Swiss Med Wkly. 2011 Mar 18;141:w13175 – doi: 10.4414/smw.2011.13175 – Free full text available! – Today, the most challenging issue in the field of rheumatoid arthritis is the identification of biomarkers for early disease diagnosis and for prediction drug response. micro(mi)-RNAs certainly represent an realistic option for optimal diagnosis an disease treatment.
Roux CH, Breuil V, Valerio L, Amoretti N, Brocq O, Albert C, Grisot C, Allam Y, Chevalier P, Pradier C, Euller-Ziegler L. Etanercept Compared to Intraarticular Corticosteroid Injection in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Double-blind, Randomized Pilot Study. J Rheumatol. 2011 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]. – Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had persistent (more…)
How Bones and the Immune System Do Communicate
The term osteoimmunology was first used about 10 years ago by Joseph R. Arron and Yongwon Choi in their article Osteoimmunology: Bone Versus Immune System in Nature. Since then, a number of articles have appeared in the scientific literature with this term in their title. A Wikipedia article on the subject has also been available since July 2007, though it is only in English and is not (yet) very comprehensive.
There have also been occasional conferences that explicitly included osteoimmunology, for example the 3rd International Conference on Osteoimmunology: Interactions of Immune and Skeletal Systems coming up end of this month in Greece (20-25 June, 2010). In addition, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has initiated a new area of concentration called Immunobone, in order to promote this area of research and to facilitate networking between the various research groups and numerous different studies. (more…)