New Drugs Hold Promise for Treating Autoimmune Diseases
WebMD News Archive
"The most important message is that lupus is relatively common and most
patients do reasonably well," says Harry Spiera, MD, clinical professor of
medicine and division of rheumatology at Mount Sinai Medical center. "We
have taken a lot of baby steps and we are waiting for a giant steps like Jonas
Salk made when he discovered the polio vaccine."
Spiera predicts that scientists will make such a giant step in the next
All autoimmune diseases may be identical from a scientific standpoint, so
"if we do not look at these diseases in total, like we do cancer, we will
never have a cure; we will only have therapies," says Virginia Ladd,
president and executive director of American Autoimmune Related Diseases
A bill now before Congress asks the National Institutes of Health to
establish an autoimmune disease office as the NIH has for AIDS and cancer. Such
an office could fund and conduct research on all autoimmune diseases, Ladd
For more information on autoimmune diseases, visit the AARDA web site (http://www.aarda.org).
including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, occur when the
body's immune system turns on itself.
New drug treatments
that aim to attack the underlying molecular causes of the disease are available
for some autoimmune diseases, and have shown preliminary
Some people would like
to see the establishment of an office within the NIH dedicated to the study of
autoimmune diseases, because they may all stem from the same biological