Rheumatoid arthritis, prepare to be attacked
It may not end lives, but rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a killer – diminishing function, capacity and quality of life – with relentless pain.
Today, 1.3 million people in the United States face this crippling reality. But tomorrow has arrived, and researchers are battling RA with breakthrough biologics to cripple arthritis itself.
RA is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s own immune system attacks the joints. In RA, somehow normally beneficial immune cells, called B cells and T cells, go “rogue,” attacking joints and causing inflammation and pain.
The disease advances because these rogue cells stage a continuous assault on the body’s own joint tissues. There’s no stopping them. Until now.
Researchers in biologics (engineering proteins derived from human genes) have developed weapons to destroy the rogue cells. These groundbreaking agents – human monoclonal antibodies – are injected into RA patients, where they annihilate the rogue parts of the immune system, particularly B cells.
If it all sounds like an action movie, well, it kind of is. Action, on every front of research, is imperative, and the only option to discover new treatments and cures to fight diseases like RA.
Welcome to the future of medicine. Where researchers go boldly – and the story has only just begun.