Discussions that mention enbrel

Arthritis board


I have been following this for a while and even contacted a doctor about it. It seems as though there is nothing stopping people from trying this treatment as the drugs have been approved by the FDA for other conditions. It just appears no one is aware of it(?) and hasn't gotten enough press and has fallen through the cracks. Has anyone tried this? I want to try it as I am almost out of options (my enbrel isn't working anymore and I've tried everything else).
Can you post if you have and/or email this professor.

This post showed up on the about.com RA website on Mar. 22, 2001
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B-Cell: Is Progress Being Made?

Insight from researcher, Professor Jonathan CW Edwards

When news media told the story of the B-Cell Depletion treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in November 2000, the arthritis community took notice. Portrayed as "a cure", the news had doctors, patients, and scientists, caught in a swirl of excitement and hope. In actuality, the B-Cell Depletion story had been ongoing for two years prior to the November press coverage, but had been largely ignored by the establishment. It was the surge of press coverage which brought awareness to the research and has left many people anxious to hear more.

Has any progress been made? According to Professor Jonathan CW Edwards, the researcher who presented the paper on B-Cell Depletion for RA at the 2000 meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, twenty-three people have been treated thus far and most have had major relief. So far this has lasted about a year and although a few have not yet experienced a relapse, it is expected that in its current form, more than one course of the treatment will be necessary. Professor Jo Edwards explained, "We think there is a cycle underneath which may reactivate unless we completely clear out all rheumatoid factor plasma cells, which is technically impossible at present. We are left instead with a treatment that seems extraordinarily effective in the medium term and so far has proved non-toxic."

It has been difficult to get the B-Cell treatment for RA off the ground. It took 4 years to gather resources for a controlled trial. The treatment, which involves removal of B-lymphocytes by using a combination of rituximab, prednisoline (a steroid), and cyclophosphamide (also known as cytoxan) via intravenous infusion, can be used off-label by any physician, but until more is known, treatment is likely to be limited to a few centers. The current protocol for B-Cell Depletion seems to work most effectively against true rheumatoid factor and may not be as good against other autoantibodies.

Professor Edwards commented, "There may be a number of people in odd corners of the world receiving the treatment and I would like to know how many. I am keen to have feedback from anybody with an autoimmune disease who has had B-Cell depletion, whether for the autoimmune condition or for other coincident reasons. I can be contacted at [email protected]"