Study aims to induce recovery from ankylosing spondylitis

Jul 21, 2009

Chinese patients will soon have the opportunity to take part in a study of a novel therapy aimed at reversing the autoimmune disease, ankylosing spondylitis. Approximately 200 patients will be chosen to participate in a clinical trial that aims to merge the latest molecular discoveries published by the California non-profit Autoimmunity Research Foundation (ARF) with the medical expertise of physicians and researchers at West China Hospital.

Located at Sichuan University, West Hospital is the largest clinical center in the world, with 4600 beds and 2.5 million outpatients per year. It is also is the Chinese center for the worldwide Cochrane Collaboration in evidence-based medicine.

The treatment protocol is based on a molecular understanding of the interaction of intracellular and with the operation and control of the body's nuclear receptors. Dysregulation of these receptors has been shown to promote the , immunosuppression, and hormonal imbalances characteristic of chronic disease.

The NIH Human Microbiome Project now estimates that approximately 90% of cells in the human body are bacterial or otherwise non-human in origin. Yet it has only been over the past decade that advanced DNA bacterial identification tools have begun to reveal the true impact of these microbes, many of which have yet to be characterized and identified. Estimated to number in the billions, the accumulation of different species of has been implicated in dozens of chronic disease states. ARF has discovered how to restore nuclear receptor homeostasis so that the body's own immune system can fight these pathogenic bacteria.

The East-West partnership, which will eventually include subjects suffering from other chronic diseases, will serve as a better-controlled and more formalized version of a trial that the Autoimmunity Research Foundation has been conducting over the past several years. These trials are aimed at moving the molecular discovery known as the Marshall Protocol as quickly as possible from bench to bedside.

Data from the initial ARF trial has been presented at conferences around the world from Karolinska, Sweden to Beijing, China. Detailed data showing that a majority of participants experienced symptomatic resolution or disease reversal from 20 autoimmune diagnoses, ranging from lupus to arthritis to thyroiditis was presented by Captain Tom Perez at the 2008 International Congress on Autoimmunity in Portugal.

"As a physician who has seen hundreds of patients respond positively to the therapy that will be tested at WCH I think data collected from the upcoming trial may very well be groundbreaking," states Dr. Greg Blaney of Vancouver, Canada.

The collaboration is scheduled to begin at the end of August when researchers from ARF will travel to China to work with the WCH staff getting the study underway.

Both groups will also join together in applying for research grants from both public sources and private donors to ensure that the maximum possible number of participants with a wide range of diseases is eventually able to participate.

Source: Autoimmunity Research Foundation

Explore further: Key milestone for brown fat research with a ground-breaking MRI scan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin D may exacerbate autoimmune disease

Apr 08, 2009

Deficiency in vitamin D has been widely regarded as contributing to autoimmune disease, but a review appearing in Autoimmunity Reviews explains that low levels of vitamin D in patients with autoimmune disease may be a resu ...

B cells can act alone in autoimmune disease

Aug 07, 2008

B cells, the source of damaging autoantibodies, have long been thought to depend upon T cells for their activation and were not considered important in the initiation of autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Recommended for you

Gate for bacterial toxins found

10 hours ago

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SDMike2
not rated yet Jul 21, 2009
Alternatively, those with ankylosing spondylitis can simply move to South Dakota. My 25 year debilitating struggle with this disease abruptly ended three months after moving to rural SD. I've been completely symptom free for 12 years. It is certainly possible that the bacterial environment of a rural northern area differs significantly from the urban So CA and South Eastern areas I had lived in after age 15. The effect of returning to my upper Midwestern roots may have been something other than simply climate (my previous hypothesis).

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...