New Research Findings May Bring Breakthrough For Scleroderma Patients PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 October 2012 22:13
Research presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in Prague, Czech Republic, suggests that inhibition of the SMAD protein may be a viable therapeutic target in Scleroderma patients.

This finding builds on previous research by presenter and lead researcher Donal O'Kane and colleagues showing that epidermal to mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurs in the skin of Scleroderma patients. This is most likely induced by high levels of the inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in sclerodermatous skin, and contributes directly to cutaneous fibrosis.

In the current study, O'Kane and team showed that SMAD inhibition weakens or reverses EMT in a normal human epidermal keratinocyte cell line. EMT was induced in the cells by the introduction of high levels of TGF-β and TNF-α to mimic conditions present in sclerodermatous human skin.

These findings could prove a real breakthrough for Scleroderma patients, as currently available treatments for Scleroderma are limited and often ineffective.

"At the minute because no treatments work effectively in clinical practice my feeling is that that's because they focus on fibrosis in the dermis as opposed to what predates that," O'Kane told medwireNews.

"The novel part of this EMT is we think that's before the fibrotic phase," he added, "so it gives a total new approach to the treatment of fibrotic disease and potentially will raise a lot more treatments as well."

To continue reading the full article, click here.

Source: Albert, H. (2012), "New treatment target brings hope for scleroderma patients"; News-medical.net;

 
More articles :

» Scleroderma-Related PAH: The Need for Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an aggressive disorder with a poor prognosis. Effective therapies are available for PAH but patients with scleroderma-associated PAH have a poorer response to...

» Adult Stem Cells Are Helping Scleroderma Patients

Dr. Richard Burt and colleagues at Northwestern University have just published a new study in that provides more evidence for the success of adult stem cell transplant in treating System Sclerosis ().Ten patients were treated with their own adult...

» Survival In Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a severe complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in this disease. Although several recent studies have suggested an improvement in the prognosis of...

» PDE-5 Inhibitors in Scleroderma Raynaud Phenomenon and Digital Ulcers: Current Status of Clinical Trials

Ann J. Impens, Kristine Phillips, and Elena SchiopuReceived 2 June 2011; Accepted 2 August 2011Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are isoenzymes that control the level of intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate...

» Biomarkers Predict Lung Decline in Systemic Sclerosis

Predicting risk of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension is an urgent priority in systemic sclerosis. Lung function often declines rapidly in the first years after diagnosis, and interstitial lung disease (ILD), although highly variable in...

» Lupus, A Widespread and Chronic Autoimmune Disease

Lupus is a widespread and chronic disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain and skin. Lupus, an important disease for...