Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anti-TNF treatments and ankylosis

Anti-TNF therapy has been shown to do a good job reducing inflammation, but joint inflammation is only one aspect of our disease. What about ankylosis -- joint fusion? A recent study using tests on lab mice suggests that anti-TNF treatments aren't as effective:

Their findings [...] cast doubts on the feasibility of preventing joint and spine ankylosis with anti-TNF strategies while shedding light on the process of SpA. [...]

For the mice with induced arthritis, etanercept had a significant impact on disease severity, inhibiting inflammation and cartilage and bone destruction. For the mice with spontaneous arthritis, however, etanercept proved no more effective than placebo at inhibiting new cartilage or bone formation or ankylosis. [...]

"Our observations strengthen our hypothesis that new bone formation in SpA is clinically relevant and largely independent of inflammation," Dr. Luyten states. "Long-term results from clinical trials are required to corroborate this hypothesis in patients with SpA," he acknowledges, "and to define whether the process of ankylosis should become a separate therapeutic target."

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