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Arthritis drugs study breakthrough


The selection of rheumatoid arthritis patients who could benefit from drugs therapy may have been made easier with a study involving three types of patients.

The research was aimed at finding if variable levels of interferon beta (IFN-beta) could contribute to how patients respond to the tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-antagonist drug. The process involved finding how levels of type 1 interferon activity in the blood before therapy related to the ability of the drug to control RA in patients.

This biomarker could help selection of patients who would be helped by drugs like Enbrel, said the study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Led by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery in collaboration with rheumatologists at University of Southern California, it involved three groups of patients: those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who received a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-antagonist drug; arthritis patients who received no drug; and healthy volunteers.

Investigators focused specifically on interferon beta (IFN-beta) for the study, noting previous studies revealed that levels of IFN-beta are present in the joint tissue of some patients with RA.

Copyright Press Association 2010
Department of Health

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