The PROMPT-study (Probable rheumatoid arthritis: Methotrexate versus Placebo Treatment-study) is a double-blind placebo controlled randomized multicenter trial in 110 patients with undifferentiated arthritis, which means they have arthritis but the exact diagnosis is undetermined. The aim of the study was to determine whether the patients would benefit from treatment with methotrexate (MTX). At the end of the study, patients were tested with a special antibody blood test (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody, anti-CCP) to confirm a diagnosis of RA, one of the most aggressive and debilitating forms of rheumatism.
The study concluded that, in the MTX group, fewer patients developed RA during the observed time and more patients reached remission than in the group receiving placebo. “This data is excellent news as it shows that methotrexate appears to delay or even prevent progression to rheumatoid arthritis amongst patients”, said study investigator Professor Tom Huizinga, Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden.
Methotrexate is an antimetabolite drug, which means it is capable of blocking the metabolism of cells, and is well established in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases such as RA. It acts specifically by inhibiting the metabolism of folic acid. In rheumatoid arthritis, MTX seems to work, in part, by altering aspects of immune function which may play a role in causing the disease.
“One of the most interesting findings from the study was that the patients who benefited the most were the ones showing a positive anti-CCP test, which would in general terms show that a patient has a very high likelihood to develop full-blown RA. However, this study indicates that the progression to a full-blown disease amongst these patients could be influenced”, noted Mrs. Dongen.
Henrike Van Dongen was one of only 12 scientists to be awarded Clinical Science Winner at this year’s Annual European Congress of Rheumatology as a result of this research. This work was also supported by The Dutch Arthritis Association.
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy