Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine

Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new multi-site study. In the near future, patients won’t have to waste time and be disappointed with months of ineffective therapy, scientists said. Currently $2.5 billion a year is wasted on therapy that doesn’t work.

Causing inflammation to run out of fuel

Inflammation needs energy: An important source for this energy is oxygen, which is indispensable for the cells of the immune system to work properly. On the one hand, oxygen is an essential element required for cells to survive; on the other hand, it also adds fuel to the fire of inflammation. Researchers have discovered that the body skilfully uses this process to extinguish inflammation.

Unexpected role of platelets in immune response

Platelets play a much bigger role in our immune system than previously thought, according to researchers. In addition to their role in coagulation and healing, platelets also act as the immune system’s first responders when a virus, bacterium, or allergen enters the bloodstream. This discovery opens the door to new ways to treat patients with septic shock caused by viral or bacterial infection and people with auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.