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Biological Drugs Offering Promising New Treatment for Arthritis

According to an article in Medical News Today, a study at Queen Mary University of London published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy found promising results in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis through biological drugs. For their study, doctors generated antibodies capable of seeking out and traveling to damaged arthritic cartilage. Later, they fused a biological drug to these antibodies and injected them into the body cavity of mice with induced arthritis in their joints. The results showed that the drug can be delivered specifically to arthritic joints, reducing the risk of side effects.

Rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker provides insight into what these findings can mean for the future of arthritis treatment through the use of biological drugs, which have been used for 16 years, but are becoming more popular than ever. “There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis,” said Beverly Hills rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker. “The long-term inflammation associated with RA eventually damages the cartilage and erodes the bones of the joints, leading to pain and deformity.”

Up until now, rheumatoid arthritis treatments involved painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or another group of small molecule drugs called disease modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs, all used in the treatment of inflammation. With a systemic approach, these drugs circulate throughout the entire body. Biological drugs are capable of zeroing in on specific components of the immune system to combat rheumatological conditions. Doctors with the study say they believe their approach to targeting rheumatoid arthritis shows promise because biological drugs have high local concentrations and low systemic concentrations to increase the efficacy of treatments while minimizing side effects.

“The more effectively that treatments can target arthritis, the faster patients can see results,” added Dr. Baker. “Combined with individualized treatment for each patient, today’s arthritis care can be more effective than ever.”

The most effective aspect of biological drugs is that they are capable of copying the effects of substances naturally made by your body’s immune system. Biological agents are genetically engineered drugs, which means that human genes that typically guide the production of these natural human immune proteins are used in non-human cell cultures to produce large quantities of a biologic drug. These drugs have been proven to decrease inflammation by impeding biologic substances that cause or can increase inflammation.

“The goal of arthritis care is to restore health to patients. Finding more natural treatments with fewer side effects combined with experienced medical care can mean better health overall for everyone affected by rheumatoid arthritis,” said Dr. Baker.

Dr. Susan Baker is board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology. She has been providing exceptional and personalized care from her Beverly Hills facility since 2003. She is also a teacher and clinical instructor at Cedars Sinai Hospital and UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine, respectively.
To learn more about Susan A. Baker MD, Rheumatology & Internal Medicine, please visit susanbakermd.com, or call (310) 274-7770.

Next, here are three ways to manage rheumatoid arthritis

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