Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Thursday, August 11, 2005

TNF-alpha as deus ex machina

Marilyn Linton's profile of AS sufferer David Atkins, which appeared in both the Toronto Sun and London Free Press, follows a familiar pattern: explain the illness, describe the profiled individual's experience, and show how he's managed to overcome it. In this case, that means one of the new TNF-alpha drugs, the efficacy of which is becoming more and more apparent, if previous reports on this blog (including Parag's this morning) are any indication. The more of these stories I read, the more I see TNF-alphas as the deus ex machina of our disease: after long suffering, sudden and profound relief. Makes a nice story; too bad so few of us are on them, or could afford them.

See previous entries: The Ottawa Sun on Enbrel and AS; TNF-alpha in the Times; The Silver Bullet; AS and TNF; Remicade (infliximab) and ankylosing spondylitis. See also an August 2002 entry from my personal blog.

As I've said before, I think this kind of profile is useful in terms of raising awareness of the disease, but if "Tin Man disease" catches on as a nickname for AS, someone is going to die.

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