Wednesday, August 20, 2008

B and T Cell Puzzle



I am always intrigued by those problematic cells in my body that are responsible for so many of my autoimmune disease symptoms. A report, published in HealthDay, discusses some new information about B and T cells, which may impact future autoimmune treatments. You can refresh your memory about B and T cells here

Researchers from Yale and Boston Universities published their findings in the August 7th, 2008 online edition of the journal Immunity
B cells may be more responsible for causing autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis than initially thought, according to a new study......The findings could explain why autoimmune-disease treatments aimed at T-cells have not done as well as those targeting B cells, the researchers said.
Autoimmune disease treatments which put B cells in their target sights may include the use of the drug Rituximab, a monoclonal man-made antibody most often used in B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer treatment.  It's desired effect in it's use in autoimmune disease is to temporarily reduce the number of B cells in the body, and by doing so, reduce the damaging inflammation that the B cells can create. You can read more about Rituximab here. 

This medication, which must be given intravenously over a series of injections, has considerable side effects and potential risks in it's use. My doctor would probably classify this medication as a "big gun" reserved for big-time autoimmune problems. 

Each new small puzzle piece of research and new information is so important. One of these days we'll complete the whole puzzle of autoimmune illnesses and their causes, stand back, and say, "Of course!" I hope that day comes soon. 

Image by Scyza

1 comment:

Diane Turner said...

I have to post as i was treated with Rituxan when we thought I had Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia- I want to know who though rat urine would be good for treating patience for many different reasons? Rat urine, come on, how does that come to be lol!
I am told that is what Rituxan is.

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